As much as $6 billion annually are lost due to fake traffic. Most websites aim to produce high-quality content and build a community of real users to combat this. Unfortunately, this is not enough.
Some tools help prevent fraudulent traffic from diluting your analytics data and site traffic quality. Adsense and Ad Exchange users are particularly at risk for fraudulent traffic. Their revenues get affected and can even incur penalties from Google for suspicious traffic activity.
Take a more proactive stance against fake traffic and check out these free tools. Let’s look at how to block traffic from a website.
Google AdWords’ IP Exclusion Tool
With this tool, you can take the specific IP addresses of competitors and block it from your site traffic data collection. This way, you have more accurate statistics. However, there is some danger that you are blocking out too many IP addresses that are not spam or fake traffic if you use this. Only use this tool for exceptional cases where you suspect that a competitor is scraping data off your website.
Another source of fraudulent traffic is people who are out to steal your unique content. Trackbacks on posts are a little tedious but worth the effort. This often built-in function in your website posting capability allows you to trace if someone is accessing your blog post to steal your content illegally. You can monitor your trackbacks using a content management system like WordPress and see if there are websites that are suspiciously taking off huge chunks of text from you. Once you identify the IP address of this suspicious website, you can exclude this IP or blacklist them or file a DMCI complaint about a violation of intellectual property.
Akismet Spam Manager
One of the well-maintained and time-tested spam management tools, Akismet works like a purifier, especially to your blog comments section. Spam traffic usually likes to bombard your website with links and steal from your share of the audience.
Google Analytics Referrer Spam Removal
While this does not directly deal with fake traffic on your live site, it helps repair the garbage in your Google Analytics data. The main premise is to get the visits with 100% bounce rate. A detailed guide from Optimize Smart outlines the procedure well.
Easy to install and implement, Cloudflare is bar none the best among the free tools that you can use to prevent fake traffic, malvertising, and undeserved penalties to your Google AdSense account. Right from the outset, Cloudflare tests your site visitors before letting them on your website.
Similar to Cloudflare, Incapsula’s free service helps site publishers in managing and kicking out bots from your website.
Wordfence Security Plugin for WordPress
This trusty security plugin can block any hack attempts or suspicious traffic coming into your WordPress site. Wordfence Security Plugin is an added layer of security for your WordPress site, although there are reviews that the plugin has issues when used on a multi-site setup.
htaccess File Block
In your site’s public HTML folder, you have an htaccess file that you can edit to exclude popular hacking bots. You do not need to purchase a tool but check this open source Pastebin of bots to block from time to time for your file.
In case you do not have access to your htaccess file, you can instead install WP referrer spam blacklist plugin on WordPress to do the same function.
These tools are all free and useful. However, it might not be able to handle complex fake traffic that is coming on your website. Some paid options may be possible.
For websites running Google Adsense or Google Ad Exchange, I highly recommend the use of Cloudflare, Akismet, and HTAccess File Block. At a site-wide level, HTAccess file block ensures that your website is up to date with popular listed hacking and spambots. Cloudflare filters out the malware traffic sources immediately. And Akismet makes comment management easier for your site. This triduum is the most basic layer of fake traffic protection that you can give your website, especially when you are running ads.
Although these free tools are great to get you started, they do not always help protect your ad inventory against more sophisticated forms of invalid traffic. For that, you need a service such as Traffic Cop, MonetizeMore’s very own invalid traffic detection, and blocking tool, that prevents your ads from serving to invalid traffic.
How do I stop bot traffic on my website?
As mentioned in the article, there are several tools for you to reduce the amount of fraudulent traffic coming to your site, mainly through blocking IPs and blacklisting. The most sophisticated blocking software is MonetizeMore’s invalid traffic suppression and detection system Traffic Cop, which prevents invalid and bot traffic from creating impressions that can jeopardize your advertising revenues.
How can you detect bot traffic?
Utilize one of the options listed in the article, such as Traffic Cop, which gives you access to a dashboard showing how many attacks were prevented.
How do I reduce bot traffic?
There are several free tools to stop the automated crawling of your website by bots. These take the form of tools designed to alert you when your content is used, or your site is systematically visited in a non-human way. You then have the option to block all traffic from that IP address, blacklist them or, in extreme cases, take legal action. We go through several in the article.