Anti-fraud toolbox

Bot blacklist

What is a bot?

In terms of affiliate marketing, a bot is some automatic (not real visitor) user who generates the traffic. There are so-called good bots (like those from Google or Facebook) who simply check your campaign (whether it is up to the rules or not) and there are bad bots. Bad bots can cause a lot of problems for affiliates as this traffic never converts but spends your traffic source and tracker budget.
For good bots RedTrack has soft filters – those bots are still able to go through your campaign but you do not see them in your statistics.
For bad bots, we have a bot blacklist.

How to identify a bot?

Bot trap

There are almost no traffic sources that are free of bot traffic. But it becomes a serious problem when the % of fake traffic reaches a high level, as a result, campaign optimization is very complicated.
Bot trap is not a 100% reliable method of detection, some advanced bots can pass, but the majority has a very primitive structure.

Since RedTrack allows you to track multi-offer landing pages, you can add an offer for bots in your campaign, so the bot traffic could be filtered after.

This method works best with landing page campaigns. In general, you will need to have the access to the page code.

1. Create 2 offers: a blank offer for bots and your real offer for your product (or several offers).
2. Create a Campaign following this guide.
3. Put an “invisible” clickable link on your landing page.
The link should contain https://your.domain.com/click/1 – it sends the bot click to the offer 1 (the bot detection offer).

It can be 1×1 pixel image, the text of the same (or very similar) colour as the background. The link should be placed very low on the page. This link is not visible to real visitors, but almost every type of Bot can click on it. So whenever you see clicks to our offer 1, you know that visitors are not real, it’s from bots.

4. Add other multi-offer links to your landing page. For example, in our case, it is https://your.domain.com/click/2 – it sends real visitors to the offer 2 (a real offer).
5. After that, you can check your campaign reports and see what IPs (or UAs) have clicked on the trap offer and block them.

Here is more information on the correct landing page setup.

IPs

This method does not require programming skills. You need to analyze your click logs and reports.
Since in real conditions the same visitor cannot click on the same offer too many times, this method can be considered quite reliable.

Go to your Campaign reports and set the grouping by IP or UA

The clicks are grouped by these parameters – like that you can see which IPs have a lot of clicks.
In real conditions, the live unique visitor will not click on the same campaign link 10 times (it depends on your ad of course but in general it’s like that).
Now you can identify bad IPs (IP ranges) and then block them.

Blacklist

Once enabled, traffic that is sent to your campaigns will be filtered based on the bot rules: bots will be excluded from the campaign report. Blocked traffic will not be counted towards your RedTrack events limit.

To add a bot rule to RedTrack, perform the following steps:
1. Go to the Tools tab;
2. Select Bot blacklist from the drop-down menu

3. Create a New rule -> set the name of your rule and add IP addresses/IP ranges or user-agent values (taken from your RedTrack reports during previous steps)

Related Articles