OMG My Website’s Income Was Mostly Fake!

Well February 2017 is turning into another roller coaster month for my online empire.

I thought that my advertising revenue had gone up 300% compared to December 2016.

But when I got the end of the month income report I was shocked!

Around 75% of my traffic was from clickbots – my real income was much, much lower!

I’m used to getting my sites hacked – it’s a fact of life of doing anything online these days. But these attacks were harder to spot, because:

  • They were coming from a range of different sources – different countries and IP addresses.
  • They used different browsers and operating systems.
  • They were targeting different pages throughout my sites, not a single page like with phpBB forum posting spambots.

About the only unique feature I could use to identify them was that they were coming directly to the site, not via search engines or links from other sites. That in itself made the traffic suspicious.

The result was that I had to take the advertising off the affected sites and replace it with CPA offers where clickbots are far less like me to get a ban from that particular advertising network.

There is a larger lesson here and that is to always do some disaster planning, no matter how small your business is. Below is a checklist to see how vulnerable you are.

You are extremely vulnerable if:

  • You have a single website.
  • You have more than one website, but they’re all hosted by the same company.
  • 75% or more of your online income comes from one advertising network (e.g. AdSense, ClickBank, PeerFly).
  • 75% or more of your online income comes from one site (e.g. Amazon, eBay, Etsy).
  • 75% or more of your online income is received through one payment processor (e.g. PayPal).
  • Most of your content is published on a 3rd party website that you don’t actually own.
  • Most of your content is on a Blogger or WordPress free hosted site.
  • You have no backups of your online work.
  • You’re in a “shady” niche, which include dating, forex, gambling, arms, tobacco, alcohol, e-cigarettes and pharmaceuticals.

If you can answer yes for one or more of these, then you know what to do – diversify immediately! Or at the very least start thinking about some contingency plans.

Have you had a setback in your own online business? Have you got all your eggs in one single basket? Share your horror stories below…

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