I run a website about SEO. I use Google Analytics to check some parameters in particular traffic sources.
Once I noticed that a big part of traffic came from a porno website. Does it mean it’s some kind of “black hat” technology and someone try to discredit my website? And what is your advice about how to avoid it?
In my experience, huge amounts of traffic from dodgy or unrelated sites is generally related to AdSense, fraudulent clicks and/or site scraping.
Do you run AdWords or Yahoo Search Marketing pay per click campaigns for your site? If you do and if you’ve opted into their Content Networks, your ads may appear on websites that participate in AdSense or the Yahoo Publisher Network. Those networks are designed to show your ads on pages that contain content that is relevant (contextual advertising), but some dodgy publishers can switch their content once their participation is approved, resulting in a temporary display of ads on pages containing adult content, (which is generally banned in the AdSense program), or other unsuitable content.
Clicks you receive on your ads on such sites are rarely authentic. They are more likely fraudulent clicks by the site owner or persons employed by the site owner to falsely inflate their AdSense traffic and earnings. The best ways to avoid PPC traffic from such sites include:
1) Making sure your target PPC terms are laser focused to your product/service.
2) Opting out of Content Networks to avoid your ads being shown on sites you don’t approve of.
3) Using negative keywords such as “-free”, “-best” etc. to ensure your ads aren’t shown for unrelated or inappropriate searches.
4) Monitor your traffic and add any dodgy domains to your PPC campaign’s URL Exclusion list to ensure your ads are no longer shown on those sites.
Another common reason for an influx of traffic from dodgy sites is site scraping. This is where site owners deploy software that trawls the web and scrapes legitimate content from other websites as a way of creating lazy content for their own sites. Usually this content is combined in a haphazard, unreadable way that is designed to fool search engine robots but not appealing to users at all.
Domainers often employ this tactic as a fast way to populate hundreds of domains with fake content so they can throw AdSense code up and try to earn money via PPC clicks. Or they might simply use it to try to gain fast rankings for competitive keywords and populate the fake pages with links to products where they earn an affiliate commission per sale.
Often you’ll find your site content has been scraped, complete with internal links to your pages, which is why you’ll see referrals from the site in your analytics. I’ve ranted about site scrapers before and even managed to get my own back on occasion, but short of sending site scrapers a *cease and desist* email, there’s not much you can do about them.
So while the techniques used to link to you may well be black hat, it’s doubtful any of them were employed to deliberately discredit your web site.
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