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The Return of Lycos?

   
1:17 pm on May 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I know that Lycos has disappeared from everyone's consciousnes for quite some time, but I understand that Lycos has recently relaunched their search engine.

In my site, Lycos has creeped up in my top 10 sources of traffic, starting May 6.

What's fascinating for me is the level of engagement of the traffic that Lycos brings -- if my Google Analytics is showing correct data.

Google's visitors peruse only an average of 2 pages per visit, but Lycos' visitors read an average of 17 pages. Time on site is also double, and bounce rate is incredibly low at 4%. Makes me do a double take each time.

Plus, the visitors it brings to my site are mostly new visitors (96%), which I also like

Has anyone see a surge of visitors from Lycos as well around May 6? Or is it just my site that Lycos finally discovered?
6:41 pm on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



I have this really tiny website with practically no traffic

Me too-- only in my case it's REALLY tiny. (When I first got here, I think I described it as "90% personal and 10% highly specialized." People who have snooped know I am not kidding about this.)

I checked my accessible logs-- I archive them in three-month chunks so I've currently got back to April 2012-- and found precisely ZERO occurrences of the word "lycos" (case-insensitive). I'm in their index, but possibly the index is not used by the particular people who would be interested in those particular pages. They don't seem like the kind of subjects where a preview or thumbnail would make a huge difference.

:: sulk ::
3:57 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I've been watching since this thread came along, and I've seen not one single visitor recorded in my stats for any of my sites. I use a stats program that screens out more bots and "Trash traffic" than analytics. Either it sees Lycos as such, or Lycos is coming in under another name.
5:13 am on Jun 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I think it has to do with how well you rank in Lycos, and for certain keyword verticals/markets.

And it seems like thumbnail impressions rather than actual visitors, but based on the queries, it is robots (unnatural search queries).
12:29 pm on Jun 10, 2013 (gmt 0)



Traffic from Lycos has gone up ~1200% since very late May to my site. Granted from a very low base. However it is all on 3 or 4 search terms, and is converting very very highly on adsense. I actually think it is a adsense click bomb attack (if that is the term) originating from Lycos. I have reported it to google, and see someone else noticed this in a google adsense forum.

It is originating from dozens of cities so I can't block the IP address.
Is anyone else seeing this? It almost sounds like others are...
This is very concerning if so.
1:31 pm on Jun 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I have another update: like joncmac, my traffic on this very tiny domain has continued to skyrocket, again from a very small base. So, it is 6X now but that amounts to about 100 visitors daily right now, and that is why it is still too early for me to see if I need to pay any more attention to this domain.

What bothers me is that of the visitors that Lycos sends me, I do not see any of the keywords associated with it. Google Analytics simply reports it as not set, so I have no clue what keywords are driving it and if it is even real traffic, though, I have seen a jump in my adsense page views and clicks as well.
2:16 pm on Jun 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I've experienced Adsense click bomb several times and Lycos traffic does not fall into that pattern. Click bombs are usually sudden, massive jumps -- think CTR jumps from 1% to 10% and even more in a single day

I'm still on a wait-and-see with Lycos, though I am not complaining about the boost of traffic. The traffic it brings certainly converts well for Adsense

However, before my site got hit with above the fold algorithm (and has not recovered yet in Jan 2012), my Adsense CPM has been really really high and this was mostly Google traffic. I remember getting invited by Google for a test program, but they came back to me to say my site will not be included because of its high CPM. Even with the Lycos boost, CPM is still just 30% of what it used to be when Google sent me tons of traffic.

So just because a traffic source sends good converting users does not really mean that that it is false traffic. Otherwise, I would have reported Google for sending me traffic interested in the ads.
4:54 pm on Jun 10, 2013 (gmt 0)



There is definitely something suspicious going on. For my site the gross Lycos traffic (once again, it is all on the same 3-4 key words which is a red flag) actually increased Sat and Sun when my overall site traffic always drops 40-50% on the weekends. So why would Lycos gross traffic not have dropped the same % as my site has done for years? I also am seeing scattered comments from other forums on big increase in Lycos traffic.

While maybe not a "click bomb" as you describe, something is occurring. Maybe a more subtle "attack" on google advertisers and publishers. I am not one to believe in coincidences when I start hearing increase in Lycos traffic from other users too and see the unusual occurrences on my site as well.
7:46 pm on Jun 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member dstiles is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



So, the obvious: how many of those seeing lycos hits have G ads and how many NOT seeing hits have G ads?

A quick check on a few of the sites I manage (for which, no G ads) shows no lycos at all.
7:56 pm on Jun 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I have several sites, all of which have Adsense

Lycos is sending traffic to only one of my sites. All the rest have 0 Lycos traffic -- even if they have Adsense ads

My sites don't follow your theory that Lycos will send traffic as long as it has Adsense on them
8:47 pm on Jun 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



No Lycos, no ads, no thumbnails. fwiw
1:33 am on Jun 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator bill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



I'm in the same boat as Lucy. I have many sites, without ads, and I haven't seen a single Lycos referrer on any of them.
7:03 pm on Jun 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member dstiles is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



alika - it's been mentioned above that only limited keywords are seen. Would they apply to your "lycos" site and not the others, perhaps?
1:41 pm on Jun 12, 2013 (gmt 0)



Wow. Lycos replied! What customer service! I never expected to hear from them. The reply is below.

Kelsey M (Lycos Customer Service)
Jun 12 09:31 am (EDT)

Hello Jon,

Thank you for contacting Lycos Customer Service. At this time, the strange traffic is a known issue and we are pushing an update some time today to eliminate a large percentage of that traffic. If you ave any questions please let us know. We will keep you informed.

Thanks!
6:43 pm on Jun 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member dstiles is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



Hmm. No mention of traffic status: is it spam, hack, scrape, legit?
7:38 pm on Jun 13, 2013 (gmt 0)



I am still getting traffic from Lycos today. Exact same pattern in that very low bounce rate, the exact same keyword search description, very high new visitor %, originating from multiple IPs.

It is lower (maybe a third of what it was). On my site, it is still "clicking" on adsense ads as well so it is really fraud originating from Lycos. Are they trying to hurt google and their relationship with advertisers?

I have sent a follow up note to them.
9:06 pm on Jun 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Am I right in suggesting the original Lycos went out of business due to DoS attacks?

I seem to remember they launched an anti-spam campaign called "Make Love Not Spam" where users could download a program that effectively targeted known spammers. This program when the computer was not beeing used was then DOS'ing known spammer sites. The result backfired as spammers redirected everything back to Lycos and took down their websearch. And from memory the spammers eventually drove them under.

Thats how I remember it anyway, maybe some one more familiar with the facts could enlighten us.
9:13 pm on Jun 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



More like they got bought by a spanish company, changed focus, eventually got bought by an indian company and refocused, and now here we are.

Wikipedia has a good summary on them.
9:15 pm on Jun 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



it is still "clicking" on adsense ads as well


Lycos has slowed down on my site. While it is clicking on Adsense, it is not only clicking on Adsense. It is clicking on EVERYTHING -- clicks of my advertisers served in DFP increased, even Addthis buttons get loads of clicks.
3:59 pm on Jul 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I am now seeing that Lycos traffic has dropped to zero, as always. During this time, while Google Analytics captured the data there were no Adsense impressions so I am assuming it was fake traffic.
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