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Can simulating user browsing affect SERPs?
cupid




msg:4421325
 2:02 pm on Feb 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

lets say you build an automated system, using thousands of different IPs each one browsing the internet for a few hours a day, doing random things, but with a certain 'profile'.

each of these bots comes back to your site and simulates an ideal user, i.e. low bounce rate, high page views, long time on page, etc.

lets say you do it with chrome or google toolbar installed to make sure the google 'gets' the signal

do you think such a system could affect how google ranks your site?

 

tedster




msg:4421562
 3:46 am on Feb 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

Before Google appeared, it certainly could and did. I'm not so sure today - at least it's nowhere near as simple as you suggest if it is still even possible. The big deal here is that such automated traffic is BOUND to have a footprint that shows itself. Google is watching so many factors today, and natural traffic would have other correlating data showing up - data that automated traffic wouldn't create.

When Google Suggest first launched, this kind of activity was apparently being used to influence the automated search suggestions that show up as you type a query. From what I've heard that manipulation became increasingly difficult to accomplish, to the point of being essentially impossible.

goodroi




msg:4422074
 12:01 am on Feb 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Many years ago I tested the feasibility of this concept and it is actually much harder than most people realize. I doubt Google has made it any easier since then.

IMHO with a bit of creativity and some cash, its easier to get real humans to create these signals for you.

superclown2




msg:4422379
 8:00 pm on Feb 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Before being able to do this with any remote expectation of success you'd need to know what factors Google use to define a unique computer. These would be revealed by the browser and the Google cookie. Does anyone know just what these factors are? I would think browser, screen size, Ip address are amongst them but do they check anything else?

aristotle




msg:4422395
 8:49 pm on Feb 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Instead of spending time and effort on a dishonest scheme like this, why don't you just create a good site? Then real visitors will give the signals that you want to simulate artifically.

superclown2




msg:4422414
 10:33 pm on Feb 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Instead of spending time and effort on a dishonest scheme like this, why don't you just create a good site? Then real visitors will give the signals that you want to simulate artifically.


I agree with you - but up to a point. Any dishonest actions will sooner or later be found out by Google, possibly with disastrous consequences. However, if there are possible exploits I feel we should know about them and be free to discuss them, if only to watch out for competitors using them.

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