When I first started blogging online, I grew excited that my blog was being visited to what amounted to hundreds of visitors within its first month eventually graduating to the thousands soon after. Having started with a simple blogspot account, the service provided its users with elementary statistics tracking visitors and their countries of origin. After taking a look at these figures, I discovered that I was apparently a huge hit in Malaysia, with ninety percent of my supposed readers originating from there. Before planning to what in my mind would have been a successful Malaysian press tour, I decided to delve a little deeper into those statistics, especially in consideration of the fact that none of my thousands of readers were commenting or interacting with my work.
Applying Google Analytics, I discovered that 95% of my visitors didn’t truly exist with over 10,000 hits and referring URLs consisting of bots (fake internet users that scrape online sites with the hope of gaining traffic from those sites to theirs). Curiosity prompted me to click one of the offending bot links which resulted in hours of virus eradication on my computer. Just how many of these dubious bots existed, I asked myself. The folks over at GhostProxies.com have the answer which is perhaps even more surprising than I could have imagined at the time.
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