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Recently I started to have spikes in organic traffic coming from baidu to one particular page of my site.

Landing pages for users from baidu

First of all, my site has a Chinese version and I do need visitors from China. So I don't want to block baidu completely.

Ok, I started to investigate. The average session duration for 90% of these hits is 0 seconds, so my guess is that these are not real visitors.

I started to gather the statistics for this page with PHP variables $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'] and $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'] and here are the results (for the last two days):

Total IP addresses count = 3876

Unique IP addresses count = 3118

Maximum hits from one particular IP address = 9

Total http_referer = 3586

Unique http_referer = 3278

Maximum number of the same referral page = 5.

The problem is that the referral pages seem to be valid pages. They look like this: https://www.baidu.com/link?url=uQ3Foy5eYozYEq1wDKYDUqlbF_W-umpEZAMyulIp-MqiVUqPPdFUtT5_Xumavs7gKlfnZXv15-2H69EbcOkWbnXQua97JF4R45zzMO10LJY5yHlIxC2fZa-dX6JeMtLDut3VWu08nrbzFVt0XjgI5_&wd=&eqid=faceb5600002fa4d00000002585c8f6e

It's encoded address as it would appear in baidu search results and it redirects to the page in question.

Anybody has any ideas why this is happening and what can I do about it?

P.S. Since a long time I have a filter in GA to block all other hostnames except my own site.

UPDATE 1: Info on HTTP_USER_AGENT (for the last 24 hours):

Total http_user_agent = 1804

Unique http_user_agent = 607

The most frequent user agents count:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/45.0.2454.101 Safari/537.36 => 125 hits

Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Baiduspider/2.0; +http://www.baidu.com/search/spider.html) => 108 hits

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/45.0.2454.101 Safari/537.36 => 81 hits

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/47.0.2526.108 Safari/537.36 2345Explorer/8.2.2.14352 => 56 hits

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/47.0.2526.108 Safari/537.36 2345Explorer/8.2.2.14352 => 50 hits

  • You did good steps to analyze the problem But can you try to save the user agents of these visitors for more analyzing? – Mostafa Dec 25 '16 at 12:43
  • If you think it will help... I added the code to save user agents as well. May take me one day to accumulate some data. – easypronunciation Dec 25 '16 at 15:55
  • It could be a bot sending traffic that piques your interest, so that you check out the site. The site itself offers translation services. Looks to be similar to the Referral Spammer tactic thats around these days. – Prasad Ajinkya Jan 7 '17 at 5:27
  • The traffic I am talking about comes from baidu.com itself, not other sites. – easypronunciation Jan 8 '17 at 3:29
1

Sign up for the baidu webmsater platform and change the "crawler pressure" - to limit the frequency in which the baidu spider visits your site.

Here is the tutorial I followed for a client - http://bbs.zhanzhang.baidu.com/thread-44-1-1.html

0

If you use Nginx, there might be solutions to block this type of spam. Here is a solution on Server Fault: https://serverfault.com/questions/646342/is-there-an-elegant-way-to-block-a-bunch-of-referrers-at-once

I'm pretty sure Apache and other servers have solutions, too.

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