Spider Bots on Twitter
Are your Twitter engagements even human users?
For Social Media Managers to effectively track their online marketing initiatives, on platforms like Twitter, they need to be using metrics that clearly differentiate between human-clicks and non-human-clicks or spider bots.
Why is this so important?
The human-clicks are the clicks that count, and having these clearly separated from all the others is essential. Marketers can then use this accurate data to effectively monitor links, and refine where necessary.
Here is an experiment to demonstrate the reality of metrics:
I recently did an experiment using ClickMeter, and was shocked by the results. Particularly by how many spider bot clicks I was getting. I could see how, by not having this tool, marketers data can become incredibly skewed, leading them to think they’re getting a lot more clicks than in reality.
On the 3rd August, I did an experiment to demonstrate this important reality, using Twitter as my sharing platform:
I found a fantastic article to share on my Twitter page, one from Rebrandly’s Blog: Building Your Brand Identity: 11+ Big Questions to Ask Yourself.
Logging into my ClickMeter account, I created a Tracking Link – Watch this video for a live demonstration. I set the Destination URL as the Rebrandly Article’s URL, and my URL Slug as Great-Branding-Article. From there, I created the Tracking Link. As soon as you press the Create Link button, ClickMeter will give you the new tracking link.
Now that I had my Tracking Link, I was ready to share it on Twitter.
I published my Tweet at 12pm, including some copy, the article link, an image and a few hashtags.
Now it was time to watch the metrics on ClickMeter, and see how many clicks my link would get. I was, yet again, astonished at what I would find.
The metrics started coming in:
- 12:03pm – 17 Total Clicks: 2 Unique Clicks, 15 Spiders/Bots
- 12:06pm – 18 Total Clicks: 2 Unique Clicks, 16 Spiders/Bots
- 12:12pm – 19 Total Clicks: 2 Unique Clicks, 17 Spiders/Bots
- 12:57pm – 27 Total Clicks: 4 Unique Clicks, 1 Non-Unique Click, 22 Spider Bots
- 14:45pm – 30 Total Clicks: 4 Unique Clicks, 1 Non-Unique Click, 25 Spider Bots
Unique Clicks is the number of visitors who clicked on the tracking link shared.
Non-Unique Clicks is the number of repeat clicks made by any of the unique visitors, after their first click.
Spider bots are “non-human-clicks” coming from robots or web-crawlers (such as search engine crawlers, RSS feed generators, validators, etc.).
If I was using a less advanced metric platform, one that didn’t differentiate between the human and the non-human, spiderbot clicks, I would be proudly watching my metrics, thinking I’d already had a whopping 30 clicks on my link. This information is more than inaccurate, being that I have actually only received 4 clicks from unique users.
This is such an important metric tool to use, giving you real human metrics, the ones that matter.
Don’t be fooled by all the spider bots out there crawling the web.
Get realistic results so that you can monitor your marketing initiatives with realistic metrics, metrics that can assist you in refining your efforts more effectively.
Make your metrics count.
- How to write Great Tweets to Increase Your Reach
- The Importance of Measuring Online Efforts
- Spam trigger words to avoid in email subject line
This blog post is about:
- Twitter bots
- Twitter audit
- Twitter bot examples
- Spiderbot examples
- Spider bot
Originally published: August 3rd, 2016.
Updated: February 27th, 2019.