I generally check traffic stats to this site about once a week, just to see if anyone is out there. When there is no Google Adwords campaign going, I generally get double digit hits each day, making a grand weekly total of three to four hundred hits a week.
So you can imagine my surprise when the blog got 843 hits yesterday. You read that right. Double what I get in a typical week in a single day.
Naturally, I'm curious as to what pages got all those views - and every one of them was from 2013. Hmmm....And where do the viewers come from? This is where it gets interesting.
I stopped running the AdWords campaigns because most of the hits I was getting were from bots - basically unmanned computers trolling for weaknesses they could exploit in a website. The viewed numbers were increasingly skewed by these bots and getting an accurate read nearly impossible. So I cancelled the ads and watched my numbers plummet - to reality.
Most of those bots are located in the countries you'd expect: Russia, Pakistan, China. But yesterday's hits were from Good O'l US of A bots - over a thousand and a half of them in the past week.
Now I'd love to believe that all those views were real people who suddenly got interested in my books/site/life, but then, I'd like to believe in unicorns, too. How do I know they're not real? Because nothing else rose with the increase in views (okay, get your minds out of the gutter!!! :) ). No increase in sales or interest on Smashwords or Amazon, no increase even in looking at the tabs across the top of the site. Only individual hits on very old pages. That says bot, not person.
For those of you who ARE real ... and I know I have a few readers in Russia, Pakistan and China as well as many other countries...The protection against attacks is one of the reasons I stay with Blogger as my website host. It isn't the greatest in form or ease of setting up pages (not WYSIWYG), no way to do direct sales from the site - but also no viruses getting through, no malware or other nasty things that mess up computers and lives.
So thank you to those of you who are real...and pftttt to the bots who aren't!