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June 4, 2014 at 4:11 pm #171870nixnerdParticipant
I’ve administered several sites. According to the stats of every single one, Internet Explorer makes up a huge chunk of the traffic. Usually, the majority. No surprises there. Or wait… that is kind of a surprise.
See, we just take it for granted that a huge chunk of the population uses IE. But do they really? I personally don’t know a single soul who uses IE. And I’d like to think I hang out with a pretty diverse crowd. AND I actually ask my friends what they use. This got me thinking… what if the stats are skewed?
Is it possible that the reason we all THINK tons of people use IE… is because older Windows machines are easier to gain access to and exploit? Could it be that the traffic we’re seeing is actually coming from a bot net trying day and night to access our databases and co-opt our sites?
I’ve always wondered why I’ll get some random fringe traffic from somewhere like Albania… which makes NO SENSE at all. Is it possible someone in Albania found one of my sites? Sure. Not very likely. Especially with newer Google algorithms that try to improve search by keeping the web in relatively local containers. So, could it be that one of these IE using bots is located in Albania? That seems like the more likely scenario.
I could be totally wrong… and there could be some VERY easy way to qualify traffic stats. Especially with Analytics. If so, just let me know.
One way is probably to look at the length of time each browser stays. Though… not even that is fool proof. If bots are spending a bunch of time on your site and accessing all your pages… they’re going to look like your biggest fans! They’ll look like they LOVE your site. It seems to me there’s no way to actually know.
BTW, I’m not trying to bash Windows at all. I’m just saying that they are the most common, therefore the most exploited. Also, any computer still running IE 8 probably isn’t super up to date with security patches.
Is there any possibility this is skewing traffic stats?June 4, 2014 at 5:26 pm #171878shaneismeParticipant
I know for our analytics, we have a huge population of IE7 users because of bing and other bots from what I can tell. Those sessions rarely trigger any events, which are click based, which means some poor souls are actually on IE7.
There are ways to scrub out bots, but I’ve not seen any ways of doing it reliably.
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