Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bots Dominate Web Traffic: A Question of Click Ethics for Bloggers

You've probably seen the article headlines like this one from Time Tech that suggests "more than 60 percent of all Internet traffic now comes from bots." Maybe you saw the PC World article that stated that "nearly half of those bots are up to no good."

While many bloggers and surfers read this and feel concern about security issues such as malware and viruses, there are others who view it as a grand opportunity to work the robotic system for an increase in web traffic. For example, I recently read this article that outlines strategies for increasing your web traffic without paying for advertising. The suggested strategies key on words, phrases, and links that will draw the attention of bots busy about the work of indexing, searching for copyright infringements (on the positive side), or hacking, hi-jacking or impersonating (on the negative).

So, as a blogger, I want to be sure that I frequent my own site to be sure it has not been attacked; I want to be sure my virus protection and malware protection are up to date and active; and I want to ask myself a question about my purpose as a blogger. Here is the question: Do I blog to articulate important ideas, to share opinions or personal experiences, or to generate traffic in an effort to generate passive income?

There's nothing wrong with utilizing the internet for income, but I think we have to beware of the blurry lines of pragmatism. For example, I can compose blog titles like Miley Cyrus Does it Again or How to Go to College for Free that mislead or focus on sensationalism in order to get a click-- and most clicks will be from robots, and while that may increase traffic on my blog, I must realize that my credibility and reputation is at stake. Are a few robotic clicks worth it?

Do you have any thoughts on the issue?

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