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Artificially High Read Counts

ericmock's picture


There has been some discussion about the low ratio of replies to reads on iMechanica.  While it's nice to think that a lot of people are reading our posts, I wonder how many of those 'reads' are really bots indexing the page.  For example, I posted a blog entry last night around 11:00 and nine hours later it says it has been read 45 times.  A couple of those can be attributed to me but I'm sure 40 real people have not read the post.  Add to this the fact that the post is already showing up in Google.

You may think that the web indexing bots might only add one read each, i.e. one for Google, one for Yahoo!, etc.  However, I have learned that Google's crawler is extremely aggressive.  For the site I developed for my wife's shoe store I had it send me an email every time someone did a search.  This allowed me to get an idea about what people were searching for.  After about a day I had to figure out how to do domain name lookups in PHP and filter the Google crawlers because I was getting hundreds of emails every few hours.  Having added the Google filter I started getting a much more realistic number of emails.  I still occasionally get emails showing hits from Yahoo! and MSN bots but those are about a few hits every week.


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