Suspect Site Traffic &

Gray-hat Techniques
Dr. Augustine Fou
October 2013
-1-

Augustine Fou
Large Changes in Traffic

Source: Quantcast

-2-

Source: Compete

Augustine Fou
Traffic Firehose On/Off
Source: Alexa

Legit human traffic does not change rapidly; but bot traffic
(firehose) can be rapi...
Sell Fake Impressions
“Modernbaby.com and Interiorcomplex.com
Each of these sites peddles enormous traffic on the
exchange...
gamemazing.com
Source: Alexa

Source: Google Trends

• No search volume to support the traffic (human users find sites via...
menshealthbase.com
Source: Alexa

Source: Compete

• Compete can only detect 100k/mo users (because it has a toolbar
compo...
Families of Fraud Sites

6.6 million sites
with several identical
site address linking in
-7-

Augustine Fou
Every Click Loads More Ads
A fresh set of
ads load for
each click to
view another
page or
image in a
list of things

-8-

...
Search Doesn‟t Support Traffic
DreamMining.com
search interest

Source: Quantcast

-9-

Augustine Fou
More Traffic Not Supported by Search
Glam.com
Evidence of traffic “juicing” not
caused by increase in search (i.e.
real hu...
More Traffic Not Supported by Search
Source: Quantcast

CollegeHumor.com
Evidence of traffic “juicing” not
supported by in...
Fake Views on YouTube

- 12 -

Augustine Fou
Related Articles
Bad Guys Happily Rob Display Advertisers
By: Augustine Fou, July 23, 2012
Everything Fake (Display Ad Fra...
Dr. Augustine Fou – Digital Consigliere
“I advise clients on optimizing
advertising across all channels. One
aspect of thi...
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What Suspect Site Traffic and Gray-hat Techniques Look Like

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Sites artificially inflate pageviews and impressions. These charts show data that does not corroborate the traffic claims of the sample sites. For example large spikes in traffic usually are driven by large spikes in search volume -- if that traffic were from real humans (instead of bots).

Published in: Technology, Design, Business
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  • Gray hat techniques are common nowadays. There is no such thing as ethical marketing anymore. If you want to learn how to make $500+ per day online go here: http://tiny.cc/pf6a5w
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Transcript of "What Suspect Site Traffic and Gray-hat Techniques Look Like"

  1. 1. Suspect Site Traffic & Gray-hat Techniques Dr. Augustine Fou October 2013 -1- Augustine Fou
  2. 2. Large Changes in Traffic Source: Quantcast -2- Source: Compete Augustine Fou
  3. 3. Traffic Firehose On/Off Source: Alexa Legit human traffic does not change rapidly; but bot traffic (firehose) can be rapidly turned off and directed to other sites. -3- Augustine Fou
  4. 4. Sell Fake Impressions “Modernbaby.com and Interiorcomplex.com Each of these sites peddles enormous traffic on the exchanges. For example, on a recent day Modern Baby was offering 19 million impressions via one exchange (quite the baby boom) and Interior Complex 30 million [ad impressions PER DAY] (the roaring housing market must be back).” Source: Adweek – Suspicious Web Domains Cost Online Ad Business $400m per Year Peak unique users 141k per month -4- Peak unique users 115k per moth Augustine Fou
  5. 5. gamemazing.com Source: Alexa Source: Google Trends • No search volume to support the traffic (human users find sites via search) • Such a dramatic drop in traffic is unusual for humans (looks like bot traffic spigot was „turned off‟ when they were discovered) -5- Augustine Fou
  6. 6. menshealthbase.com Source: Alexa Source: Compete • Compete can only detect 100k/mo users (because it has a toolbar component, it is less easy to game than the comScore tag) • Alexa traffic volume is almost not detectable, search is 0.90% of traffic; normal sites visited by humans should have a far higher ratio of search -6- Augustine Fou
  7. 7. Families of Fraud Sites 6.6 million sites with several identical site address linking in -7- Augustine Fou
  8. 8. Every Click Loads More Ads A fresh set of ads load for each click to view another page or image in a list of things -8- Augustine Fou
  9. 9. Search Doesn‟t Support Traffic DreamMining.com search interest Source: Quantcast -9- Augustine Fou
  10. 10. More Traffic Not Supported by Search Glam.com Evidence of traffic “juicing” not caused by increase in search (i.e. real humans looking for it) Source: Alexa - 10 - Source: Google Trends Augustine Fou
  11. 11. More Traffic Not Supported by Search Source: Quantcast CollegeHumor.com Evidence of traffic “juicing” not supported by increase in search (i.e. real humans looking for it) Source: Google Trends - 11 - Augustine Fou
  12. 12. Fake Views on YouTube - 12 - Augustine Fou
  13. 13. Related Articles Bad Guys Happily Rob Display Advertisers By: Augustine Fou, July 23, 2012 Everything Fake (Display Ad Fraud, Search Click Fraud) By: Augustine Fou, April 2013 Blacklisting vs Whitelisting By: Augustine Fou, October 2013 Fake Profiles on Facebook By: Augustine Fou, July 2013 How Display Ad Fraud Works By: Augustine Fou, May 2013 - 13 - Augustine Fou
  14. 14. Dr. Augustine Fou – Digital Consigliere “I advise clients on optimizing advertising across all channels. One aspect of this is detecting waste and fraud; and then taking steps to mitigate it.” FORMER CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER, HCG (OMNICOM) MCKINSEY CONSULTANT CLIENT SIDE / AGENCY SIDE EXPERIENCE PROFESSOR AND COLUMNIST ENTREPRENEUR / SMALL BUSINESS OWNER PHD MATERIALS SCIENCE (MIT '95) AT AGE 23 ClickZ Articles: http://bit.ly/augustine-fou-clickz Slideshares: http://bit.ly/augustine-fou-slideshares LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/augustinefou - 14 - @acfou Augustine Fou

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