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I have a website where I create ads for clients. They are not AdWords or similar, they are custom ads I create. All ad links go through a count-clicker before being sent to the advertiser's URL (ex. http://example.com/countclicks.cfm?adid=671). I'm trying to figure out the best way to block any bot from "clicking" on the ads to prevent false click-through counts.

In addition, it would be NICE if the advertiser can still get SEO link value as our website has a high Page Rank, which is why I'd rather not use nofollow. This would be lovely but my first priority is to get rid of the "fake" clicks by bots.

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I had this same problem at one time on my MediaWiki website.
I downloaded a standalone PHP script.
And that solved these bad bots from clicking on my advertisers' ads by IP range banning Bad Bots with a code that only bots can see and click on.
Visit https://perishablepress.com/blackhole-bad-bots/

  • Interesting! We use IIS and Cold Fusion so I'd have to figure out a similar strategy with my different platform but thanks for sharing this. – pm541 Feb 2 '18 at 20:41
  • Sorry, but i got banned on stackexchange for answering too many questions. Glad i could help a little though. – jehovahsays Feb 2 '18 at 20:57
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    @jehovahsays Bit of an aside, but... You don't get "banned on stackexchange for answering too many questions"!? – DocRoot Feb 3 '18 at 0:09
  • You correct i went back to see which stack website banned me and it was in fact server fault and stack overflow. – jehovahsays Feb 3 '18 at 0:34
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There are some other ways to prevent bot clicks. Are you using ReCAPTCHA's? To some visitors they may be a bother, but they do work. Also, you can consider use\ing Facebook/Twitter Ads, GDN Remarketing Campaigns, and adjust your Ad Targeting for a more specific audience. I hadn't heard of that PHP script either, sounds like a neat idea.

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Try banning them thru robots.txt

If the bots don't listen then just use some sort of IP logger (with a notice saying you are using one for quality assurance or something like that), capture the ones that appear to be "bad bots" and firewall ban them.

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