Clicks or Click Fraud?
Check out animation about millions of bots clicks show at Bit.ly as "statistics"
Twitter: The Dark Side Study
- EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
- INTRO to SOCIAL NETWORKING
- Human Society as Social Medium
- Networking at the Speed of Light
- Man I Need Coffee so Bad
- WELCOME to REAL-TIME WORLD
- The First Tweet?
- Businesses Emerge
- CLICK FRAUD - THE DARK SIDE
- URL Shortener
- Bit.ly’s Vulnerabilities
- Bit.ly – Twitter’s choice
- Tricky Analytics
- Twitter's ECO Footprint
- Are We Getting Stupider?
- Twitter Frenzy
- What Kind of Future with Twitter?
- EXPERIMENTS - Bit.ly Validity
- BOTS vs. HUMANS ratio
- BOTS vs. HUMANS by AdSense
- Insight Into Followers
- Bots Folllowing Bots Following Bots
- Christians Following Porn Bots
- Celebrities - Bots of the Worst Kind
- Celebrity Poluters
- Obama Girl?
- Direct Messaging Value
- MILLION CLICKS - ZERO HUMANS
- BOTS vs. HUMANS IPA Analysis 1
- Followers Breakdown
- BOTS vs. HUMANS IPA Analysis 2
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Twitter: The Dark Side | Bit.ly - Twitter's URL Shortener of Choice
We are not going to deal with Bit.ly specific security vulnerabilities now and will focus only on its reporting accuracy and real-time tracking. Bit.ly is Twitter's URL shortener of choice since the summer of 2009 and they had one billion bit.ly clicks served in august! This development is also an interesting story, because Bit.ly's CEO is John Borthwick, who is also CEO of Betaworks.
Betaworks builds companies in the social-messaging space. It incubated Summize that’s now http://search.twitter.com/ the Twitter search engine Twitter acquired last year, and through that deal Betaworks remained connected to Twitter. Betaworks has also worked with Tweetdeck -- which also uses Bit.ly as the default link shortener. The company has several other Twitter (and Facebook) projects running right now. Beware developers, it suffice to say that if you're in Betaworks' network, you've got great access to Twitter.
So you opened a Twitter account and twinked it with a bit.ly link in your first tweet. What happens next? Our Experiments searched for the Value of a Tweet and Twink on Twitter. Using various analytics tools and metrics. This raises one more question, what analytic tools in fact are and how all this works.
Many on the Internet were confused with a puzzle called - Bit.ly Says Potato (1,000 clicks), Google Says Tomato (200 clicks) and now? – and as such it, partially, prompted us search for an answer for that question.
Look at this frightening example from I’m Not Actually a Geek blog:
Bitly statisticis say his page received 125 clicks but WordPress analytics only 11!? 125 from Bitly - 11 from Wordpress = 114 or 91.20% difference! Does this means that Bit.ly’s statistics show a bit of garbage, useless, non human traffic? This intriqued and prompted us to perform a set of through experiments examining the value of Bit.ly’s traffic delivered.
There are numerous reasons, some of them specific for Twitter generated traffic that could create such an uneasy difference in a number of clicks. Some of these are:
- Some ISPs (in fact, most) use proxy servers to cache pages. This means user A requests your home page. Ten minutes later, person B requests your home page, but it is delivered by the proxy server, not website’s tracking tool, so there is no record of this event on your logfile.
There were quite a few suprises comign out of our experiments. IOHO (In Our Humble Opinion) two are worth a brief mentioning in our narrative:
- Twitter’s Eco Footprint ,
- Twitter’s sociological and psychological impacts.
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