A sudden spike in web traffic and investigation into the cause and effect led me to revise a content ad campaign on Bing and Yahoo partner sites.
Traffic suddenly increased to several domains. Web analytics showed the origin of this traffic and the behavior of visitors revealed a problem with a #Bing content network ad. This traffic was alarming because of its magnitude. So much traffic would soon have some unpredictable impact on search rank or signal out of control ad spending.
There was no rise in ad spending anywhere. But reviewing the entry page tracking parameters, clearly the traffic was coming from one Bing ad campaign. The campaign was old and the link was obsolete. That provided insight to update the landing page.
The #bouncerate for this traffic was quite a bit lower than average so it looked like real visits. It looked as though visitors would arrive on a page, and continue within the site for several more pages, all fine from an SEO viewpoint at least tentatively. #Analytics showed that the referring domain was genieknowsinc.com. Clicking back to the referrers, yielded no insight at all. Our IBM NetInsight analytics showed the keyword was "railway rolling stock" on many of these visits. It's not a common term and the rise in traffic looked very suspicious.
A separate #analytics check on abandoned products – entirely unrelated to the spike in traffic - showed that many of the abandoned products were logged by visitors who came from genieknowsinc.com and the entry page was always tied to the same URL even though the search keywords had nothing to do with the landing page. One query especially caught my attention, “how to seduce married women” which really has nothing to do with “railway rolling stock” and the abandoned products did not relate to railway rolling stock either. Digging deeper in the abandoned products report, I learned the top abandoned products were tied back to visitors searching unrelated terms and had referrers from genieknowsinc.com. Analytics are great for this kind of insight, and they led me to discover and fix part of a content campaign with a #Bing #Yahoo partner. Eliminating these ads from spammy pages by excluding genieknowsinc.com from all campaigns saved money and squeezed out ineffective spending.
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