When I was in Majorca, happily posting away at the end of another hot and bird-filled day, the traffic visiting ND&B was very healthy. A 'normal' day's worth of page views was settled in the 400-600 range, with the odd day total topping these figures. All good for the ego if not for the wallet...
But then things really took off. Over three consecutive days the page views rose - 900... then 1540... then a record breaking 1613... my head started to swell, this drivel that I was pumping out was obviously getting noticed, and fame was surely beckoning just around the corner. I have had spikes in numbers before, especially when a post has been linked on a highly popular site (such as a BirdForum thread). I went searching for such a link, but found none. I then opened up my 'audience' data - hmmm, something fishy was going on. On each of these 'boom-days' I was getting over a thousand hits from Russia! Was I suddenly big in the Urals? Was my Moscow fan-base mushrooming? Were the Siberian hordes that bored that they had adopted a British blog on natural history as a 'go to' form of entertainment and enlightenment? Alas, no. I had to come to terms with the fact that I was suffering from an attack of the spambots.
A spambot is, acording to Wikipedia:
a computer program designed to assist in the sending of spam. Spambots usually create accounts and send spam messages with them.
Apparently, these spambots surf the web to attack blogs and forums to submit bogus content. This may take the form of posting marketing information or phishing, or purely to boost search engine rankings for whoever the spambot is working on behalf of.
So, no big surge in adulatory fan behaviour. No admittance to the blogger hall of fame. Just some binary piracy from the land of the cossacks, pumping up the worth of a nameless site on the other side of Europe (or maybe further afield).
Was it worth having got so excited about the traffic surge? Nyet...