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It does always check the robots.txt file first. I could block it, but I don't want to if it is actually providing some commercial value to my client.
I've emailed Vigil's "Marketing Communications Director", I'll post any additional info I get back.
"e-Sense locates hundreds (sometimes thousands) of sites that are candidates of interest vis a vis a client's business landscape. These sites come to the attention of e-Sense in many ways, including: 1) the site is LINKED TO by another site of interest; 2) the way the site (and key terms) are indexed by a major search engine; or 3) the site LINKS TO another site of interest. e-Sense then does a pretty exhaustive study (all done by our technology, not by people) to evaluate the site to see if it's really providing information relevant to the user's interests."
"If e-Sense finds a page that is relevant to a client's landscape, the title of the html page (with the link to the site)and a small excerpt will then be delivered to the client. The client can then connect directly to the page to read it in full. In this way, we can actually drive traffic to a site that is relevant to an area of interest for a client. Often, e-Sense locates sites of which our customers were previously unaware."
"Not knowing the actual site e-Sense visited, I can't speculate on the potential interest in this example. If your client's site isn't of great relevance to the our customer's landscape, you might see traffic for just a few days, as e-Sense 'realizes' that the site isn't highly targeted. I want to underscore that e-Sense found your site automatically -- it was not specifically targeted in any way -- so this is being done by technology, not by humans."
Last time I read their site, I didn't see the "driving traffic to your pages" part of it, but to me, that doesn't change anything.
I have no way of quanifying the traffic they might drive, or even if it will arrive at the sites I'm trying to promote. So, their sucking down my bandwidth doesn't make sense to me, and how can I tell a client, "your traffic is highly qualified," when I don't even know if these business people are really in the market for what my clients offer?
Just my thoughts.
Maybe the world of useless bot patrol is hitting us now... Who knows. It just seems to me that I want to promote quality user sessions. NOT quantity.
And for the record, this Vigil bot has returned yet again... Suprising? Nope.