Remember when you were young and thought you received an excellent gift, but it was just a pair of socks?
An SEO professional’s equivalent would be opening up Google Analytics and seeing a spike in traffic only to discover that it was a false alarm.
This happened to the Rock Content Blog at the start of August.
We started receiving a lot of traffic almost overnight from two countries that had never been included in our ranking: Czechia and Seychelles.
We found that the same thing was happening on other websites. We then concluded that the traffic was fake.
It’s a sad tale, full of unfulfilled dreams and broken hopes. A story that taught valuable lessons to our entire team, and I’d like to share it with you.
This post will explain how we conducted our investigation and what you can do if your website receives fake traffic.
How did Czechia & Seychelles enter our lives?
The story began on 4th August, when traffic to our US blog (constant through June) increased by 37% daily.
We had almost twice the traffic on a June day.
First, I identified the traffic source in Google Analytics’ Acquiring Reporting section. It could have been a spike in paid traffic from a campaign. Who knows, we went viral on Facebook.
No, it’s an increase in organic traffic. It was odd, as Rock Content’s blog traffic had never behaved this way.
Two countries, which had never been ranked in our ranking before, have now surpassed the United States as the country with the most blog visitors.
Wikipedia said that the Seychelles was the strangest. It is an archipelago of islands in Africa, with a population of less than 95,000, and ten years back, there were fewer than 2,000 Internet users. If you like cartoons, it’s near Madagascar.
We were intrigued: How did a small island with tourism, fishing, and other primary economic activities suddenly become interested in Digital Marketing?
The investigation continues.
After figuring out the traffic’s origin, I needed to know what it was.
Was it a more or less natural growth or something closer to an explosion in sessions? Was it more or less a natural growth or more like an explosion of sessions? My next step was identifying which pages received the most traffic (with the Behaviour Reporting section in Google Analytics).
What to do about all the fake traffic between Czechia and Seychelles?
The most popular solution to blocking fake traffic online is Cloudflare.
People have reported stopping traffic from Czechia or Seychelles (see an example in Mighty Gadget).
The events were bizarre, and there weren’t any definitive answers. But it was more apparent that data analysis should always be done in depth.
It’s best to remain suspicious when traffic spikes happen and keep your excitement in check.
Your content plan could be paying off. But it could also have something totally out of your hands, affecting your numbers.