Detecting Click Fraud & Malicious Bots

What is click fraud?

Click fraud is the process of clicking on adverts to artificially inflate the traffic being delivered to the advertiser. None of those clicks are likely to convert to customers.

What are bots?

Bots are automated computer programs that click around in a browser, attempting to mimic humans.

Bots can either run on servers in a datacenter such as Amazon Web Services, or sometimes, on people’s personal computers that have been infected with malware or a virus (referred to as a botnet).

Some bots, such as GoogleBot, are used for legitimate purposes such as indexing the web. For more information on how Linkly handles search bots, click here.

How Linkly detects click fraud & robots

Linkly detects bots by using a mixture of request headers, for bots that declare themselves, and ISP for bots that do not.

Where Linkly uses an ISP lookup, we look to see if the traffic is originating from a data center, such as Amazon Web Services, rather than a normal internet service provider.

Blocking Robots

If you choose to block robots, robots will be shown a 404 Not Found error.

Robot clicks that are blocked do not count towards your click allowance.

When you should not block bots

In general, we do not recommend blocking bots.

Many applications, such as social networks or ad networks, will open links to generate previews & check for spam.

Blocking robots is likely to interfere with the process and may result in them marking your link as spam.

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