1. This website uses cookies to improve service and provide a tailored user experience. By using this site, you agree to this use. See our Cookie Policy.
    Dismiss Notice

CTR, dwell-time, bounce rate sabotage...?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by JF92, May 23, 2019.

  1. JF92

    JF92 Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2019
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    11
    Hi guys,

    Our websites organic ranking for our primary KWs have been steadily tanking from page 1 since January 6th.

    I've since done a whole heap on onsite work, published new content and sped things up considerably.

    One thing I noticed whilst in GA (and subsequent server logs) is that we have bot/sabotage traffic clicking our link in G search

    According to our server, this same click happens every minute (almost exactly) and is from various IPs accross the UK.

    In case you were wondering, there is no way this traffic is real! We are a Cambridge based web design company. The numbers are astronomical, and we are not THAT busy!

    This has resulted in metrics in GA that look like the attached.

    The dwell time is 1 second, and prior to March, these metrics were very useful!

    My question is, is this bot/negative SEO tactic actually having some sort of impact for the keyword they're targeting?

    If anyone could offer some insight I would be extremely grateful!

    Is this affecting us in any way? Is there any way of stopping this fake traffic?

    Thanks in advance,

    J

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2019
  2. affbull

    affbull Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    Messages:
    1,075
    Likes Received:
    164
    not an expert. But I think google looks at dwell time. Could be negative SEO.

    Interested to hear what others have to say.
     
  3. bahus

    bahus Power Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    164
    Gender:
    Male
    If you know the IP(s) the fake clicks/traffic are coming from you can block in htaccess file and see what will happen.
     
  4. redarrow

    redarrow Elite Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Messages:
    10,964
    Likes Received:
    3,217
    i would send all traffic from that specific country to a adult deal ...

    might get some real cash .

    looks like soneone pucking on your website

    or someone has setup a traffic flow pointing to you as a mistske.

    take advantage of that traffic .
     
  5. redarrow

    redarrow Elite Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Messages:
    10,964
    Likes Received:
    3,217
    this was redirecting all Nigeria traffic to google


    Code:
    RewriteEngine On
    
    RewriteCond %{ENV:IP2LOCATION_COUNTRY_SHORT} ^NG$
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.google.com [L]
    
    You can generate your own at http://ip2location.com/free/visitor-redirection .
     
  6. JF92

    JF92 Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2019
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    11
    Thanks for your replies folks!

    So obviously blocking the IP would be the first obvious prevention measure... however unfortunately these are all different IP addresses. (Although they seem to be from a Sky Broadband ISP...

    The one thing that every single token has is common is the referral URL: https://www.google.com/search?q=web+design+cambridge&gws_rd=ssl

    Am I right in thinking that this URL is different to what you get if you conduct a Google Search the normal way?

    I could write a rule to block traffic from this exact referrer URL. Obviously it's very important that we don't block any legitimate visitors!

    What do you guys think?
     
  7. bahus

    bahus Power Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    164
    Gender:
    Male
    I'm not sure about the referral UR, I know that people can fake it, but can't tell the difference between real and fake. If you're using Wordpress you can install Wordfence, the free version gives you plenty of option to block traffic based on user behavior.

    P.S. Why don't you test it. Block that http s://www.google.com/search?q=web+design+cambridge&gws_rd=ssl after that google 'web design cambridge' click on your link to see if you blocked yourself.
     
  8. fb3003

    fb3003 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Messages:
    1,567
    Likes Received:
    583
    Gender:
    Male
    for your primary keyword, what is the CTR when you look it up on google search console? what has been the CTR history over the last 12 month for your primary keyword?
     
  9. doncanolli

    doncanolli Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    119
    Likes Received:
    89
    Did you check if you get the same stats with different analytics software? It could be that your competitors are sending "fake signals" to Google Analytics. It's so easy to mess up someone's GA data with fake requests.
     
  10. aidenhera

    aidenhera BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2016
    Messages:
    3,060
    Likes Received:
    895
    Gender:
    Female
    afaik it was used as both SEO and NSEO method. cant defend urself from NSEO with this method. Unless google will disable/fix this feature.

    if good UX signals rank u high, then bad UX signals dont give u that bonus, and since your UX are bad now, you wont rank high.
     
  11. MoneyValue

    MoneyValue Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    152
    Even if bounce rate and dwell time affect SEO, Google is more than competent enough to discern the difference between real and fake traffic. I doubt this traffic is affecting your SEO. If I were you, I would look into adjusting my GA filters so that your GA numbers are accurate.
     
  12. fb3003

    fb3003 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Messages:
    1,567
    Likes Received:
    583
    Gender:
    Male
    i used to use googlesearchbot to send fake traffic to my site, and increase CTR and dwell time. worse thing I did as SEO goes. Google can easily understand between real and fake traffic. ranking tanked a bit. Once I stopped using the that stupid tool, it improved again.
     
  13. jani

    jani Power Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Messages:
    509
    Likes Received:
    61
    Gender:
    Male
    Ohh you can try cloudflare and keep I am under attack you will definitely get some help.

    Or you can see the ip range and block it

    You can use I theme security plugin it's free
     
  14. JF92

    JF92 Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2019
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    11
    Hey guys,

    Thanks so much for all your thoughts on this issue. Really appreciate it!

    I'm going to reenable CloudFlare. It was turned off some months back (story for another day)

    I hope you're right about Google and bot traffic. What I will say is that is does look very legitimate. All of the visits are from UNIQUE IP addresses, from all over the UK from valid ISP's (Sky Broadband, Orange, BT, Virgin Media etc)

    There seems to be no qualifiable equation behind the pattern. Totally random. I tried adding around 300 IP addresses to a blacklist to see if any of the blocked IPs got flagged in the firewall ...nothing.

    In GA the 'New' visits make up >99%.

    The metrics in GWT are worlds apart. I have attached a screenie of the last 7 days performance.[​IMG]

    In terms of fake signals to GA, I did wonder this too - but I have spent some time combing the visitor logs in cPanel, and it tells the same story a GA unfortunately. This is how I managed to get the IPs, actually.

    I have WordFence running on the website, and the this fake shitty traffic is not picked up in the Live Traffic log in WordFence... Not as bots, nor humans.

    There doesn't reasonably seem to be any affirmative action we can take to stop this traffic... I just hope that it's not hindering our SEO efforts.

    We were absolutely soaring pre Xmas and for the better part of last year for our primary KWs. Came back to the office on the 6th January to a big ol' drop and it's sort of been heading slowly in the wrong direction ever since.

    Maybe it's just a coincidence that this traffic started at that time... G search is all over the place right now, with Page 1 returning absolutely garbage websites from pop-up companies with thin content, bad link profiles. These are companies who we've encountered locally and that are known to be crap!

    Thanks for making time to provide your thoughts everybody. This is a great community!

    - J
     
  15. JF92

    JF92 Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2019
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    11
    @jani, CloudFlare DoS attack mode has immediately cured the traffic in GA... Good shout my dude!

    Does anybody know the potential side-effects of running 'Under Attack Mode' other than the unattractive and annoying JS check screen?

    Wondered if anyone has ever seen adverse SERP results when persistently running CloudFlare's Attack mode...

    Cheers!

    J
     
  16. JF92

    JF92 Newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2019
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    11
    Spoke too soon.... traffic is still getting through.