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I've noticed that on the 1st - 4th of the recent months (since January), several sites I maintain are getting thousands of requests from mobile browsers, whereas throughout the rest of the month, the numbers are in the single or double digits.

Has anybody else noticed this sort of behavior?

I don't have the exact user agents logged, but my analysis software (WebTrends) reports the traffic as mostly iPhone/iPad/iPod, Android, and Blackberry.

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Have you checked for referring URLs? –  iKnowKungFoo Jun 27 '11 at 20:42
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What sorts of subjects are the sites about? –  paulmorriss Jun 28 '11 at 14:01
    
The sites are utility company web sites. –  wsanville Jun 28 '11 at 15:31
    
Check your site logs. I'm sure you have logs floating around somewhere on your servers. I have not noticed this behavior on my server. –  Tyler Crompton Dec 31 '11 at 10:33
    
Do these sites allow online payments? It could just be that people are paying their bills at the beginning of each month. A lot of smartphone users prefer using their phones to make payments. –  Lèse majesté Feb 20 '12 at 6:48
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2 Answers

If your sites are utility company websites could the traffic spikes be related to billing cycles - are the companies putting out the url on print material around that time?

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In Google Analytics, check that these are real users. If they are not visiting other pages on your site and only generating 1 pageview, and time on site is less than a minute. It's probably referral spam which sucks since you can't remove it from GA. Ban the IP in htaccess if it's truly referral spam

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I wouldn't ban the IPs. Most mobile users' IPs are dynamic just like most broadband users' IPs. Banning the IP would do nothing except block future legitimate traffic. –  Lèse majesté Feb 20 '12 at 7:13
    
That's true, though if they resolved to Russia, China or some country where malicious activity is known for and it didn't affect your visits or sales I would ban entire blocks of the IP's thought without a second thought –  Anagio Mar 13 '12 at 11:18
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