Auto Like Bots and False Traffic Reports

I a going to start this post with a link, however, I am sorely tempted to request you don’t click it. Not for any malicious reasons, but rather because the post is making a statement about something this post uses. Anyway, here is the link. Click it, it is interesting.

I checked my emails a few minutes ago, and saw that I had three new post likes from a new visitor. Or rather, one I didn’t recognize has ever having liked or commented in the past. Imagine my excitement.  As I often do, especially for new ‘friends’ I check out their blog in return. It is the least I could do. (Hence the link above.)
I was shocked to discover that the site was somewhat disingenuous. The blogger was blatantly advertising the fact that we are visiting her blog in response to a Like she left on a post, and that it was all thanks to a bot that is designed to increase site traffic.

Now, I am all for increasing stats. My own are a source of constant interest and often frustration to me. Especially as I see the blogs around me growing larger and larger. However, the idea of using a bot that randomly likes posts, and according to this young lady, you can set it to like as many posts as you want, you are deceiving people, and that is just not something that I want to do. I have said it before, and I will say it again, I want people to like and (fingers crossed) talk about my blog because it is good, they like it, and look forward to the posts etc, not because of trickery.

I have never heard of this sort of bot before, and while it may just be my own naivety, I hope that is it not something that we are all going to have to come to terms with in the future. Why would people be so desperate for hits that they have to stoop so low. I mean, reading a blog post takes but a few second, if you skim it, at least you have put in some effort. I read every single post I like or comment on, and would like to think others do too.

Using tags and certain key words in your posts is one thing, and that I am fine with, as at least the people visiting your site(s) as a result will be real, but to get ahead this way… is well… cheating. Or maybe I am just old-fashioned and having moral values in this cyber age is but a weakness.

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5 thoughts on “Auto Like Bots and False Traffic Reports

  1. Hi. I’m here because of your tweet on mywana. 😉

    I clicked the link because I wanted to read what it was about before commenting.
    I am a computer geek, so I’m all pro technology etc. I don’t use that kind of bot. There are lines, of course, which everyone of us draws according to his/her beliefs.

    However, cheating, ethics etc. are rather relative. Some could consider cheating when friends go and buy the books from an electronic bookstore for example, to increase the ranking. Some others could consider unethical to have friends retweet just because they are friends with a person, no matter if it’s worth retweeting or not. Others use sites which SELL “likes”, “comments”, “retweets” – even reviews. Others use twitter or facebook applications which do all kinds of things, from automatic retweets to spam e-mails. Or bots like the one you discovered.

    Increasing traffic on a site will lead to increased ranking on search engines. That is their purpose. On the other hand, without a large amount of money, and not using these “tricks”, it is very very difficult to increase the ranking of a site on Google for example.

    Is it fair or ethical? Maybe. Maybe not. There is no absolute answer to that or to each case.

    Is it fair that there are books that suck and because they are backed up by major publishing houses (for whatever reason) and/or by a lot of money, they have huge sales? And on the other hand, there are books that are really great, but they remain on low sales due to lack of the above. Unfortunately, marketing is more powerful than it should be in our days, not only on the internet.

  2. Hi Alex,

    What you are writing about is a real issue about those things, and I also had some problems with it at first, but this is what I currently think about it:

    As I see things, blogging is not a competition between people regarding who is the best blogger. Blogging is about sharing thoughts, opinions, feelings, stories, art. As I can see it, if one holds thoughts / feelings / messages he belives he should share with the world, than it is almost rediculous not to do that because of different stories he holds in his mind, regarding right / wrong, good / bad. Where there are no rules (because it not a competition), there is nothing to violate. Those rules are inside our minds, ONLY.

    Also, I would ask you to change the words in your post – fraud, fake and so on. As I’m not a representitive of this company in any way, but rather just planning to give my followers different advices which they might be interested in. In addition – I am totally honest and explaining truly how does it work and what it is all about. Therefor, those words are a total injustice. Even if you specifically doesn’t like this bot, which is OK ofcourse, it doesn’t make it wrong. Especially if many other people don’t see anything wrong with it.

    I hope that you’ll like my next post more than u liked this one 🙂

    Cheers.

    1. Hi Cherry,

      Thank you very much for coming back to me. It speaks volumes that you are willing to comment 🙂

      If I may, the post itself, was not aimed directly at you. Your post was rather the spark that created it. I will remove the word fraud from the post, and replace it with something a little less, sharp edged, however I will keep the message that I don’t believe in using such a tool.

      I will certainly be keeping an eye open for your next post. I am always interested in having a good conversation about issues. You views on blogging are correct, it is not about who is the biggest or the best, but about who has something to say.

      Regards,

  3. I agree the whole internet has turned into trickery, deceit, and falsehoods for the sake of making a couple of bucks by running advertisement on a page. I had been contacted by Youtube-partners about putting ads onto my videos, but I will never do that. I hate having to watch ads every time I want to see a video. Bottom line is, I would rather have ten people that really like to visit my site/blog/page than 100 thousand that could care less and are just doing it for their popularity contest which then turns into an advertising gimmick for corporations.

  4. I just left a genuine ‘like’ Alex and I’m shocked by this latest scam as well.

    I prefer comments as well, for the same reasons, but views and likes are the only ‘objective’ statistical tools we have. Make them meaningless and we are reduced to stumbling around in the dark.

    I don’t base my posts on my stats but those stats do tend to show general trends. And trends help me understand what’s going on. For instance, I know that my food posts generate a very small but steady interest and the search engines seem to pick up on that. This gives me the confidence to keep on posting about food every now and then.

    I must admit this latest fraud worries me. I hope Google or WordPress come up with an algorithm to sort the real from the scam. 😦

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