Addressing Bot Traffic by User Agent or ISP | CAKE Google+
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Addressing Bot Traffic by User Agent or ISP

Bots.  They are a staple of the web these days.  Google uses them to crawl sites to judge relevancy for organic search (SEO) results.  Some other, more nefarious users utilize bots to drive up clicks in a fraudulent way to either hurt their competitors by increasing their costs or to generate additional revenue.  In any case, bots are an unwanted click in the performance marketing space due to the fact that it’s not a real user and it won’t convert.  These clicks cost money and they skew highly coveted stats such as Earnings per Click (EPC) and conversion rates, hurting reputations and business relationships along the way.

Bots have come a long way in sophistication and are now capable of altering their IP address and User Agent, making them hard to proactively block.  Fortunately, you can leverage CAKE’s Rules and Targeting to accomplish exactly this!  You can set up a rule on an offer to redirect traffic based on a specific user agent or ISP (internet service provider) target, to a redirect offer of your choice, including your global redirect.

So how do we set this up in CAKE?  There are 2 ways to set this up within CAKE, a User Agent-based rule and an ISP Provider-based rule:

Applying a User Agent-based rule

This method is advised when you can see a consistent user agent that is unique to the BOT and can be identified with a unique phrase or word. This will NOT work if the user agents look like a generic browser machine.

  1. Change the targeting method for your contract to “rules” targeting by clicking on your contract, click 'Change Targeting Method', selecting 'Rules', then 'Apply'. This should give you the target-looking icon.
  2. In the Rules window that pops up, select 'New Rule'
  3. Then assign a name (try to be as specific as possible so it's not confusing for you later)
  4. Check 'Active'
  5. Shared – up to you (if you think you'll want to use it later, then go ahead and select 'Shared'. This can be updated at any time)
  6. Choose your redirect Offer or global redirect or 404
  7. Then in the bottom window, select 'Add Rule Target'
  8. Select 'User Agent'
  9. In the User Agent window that pops up, enter the search phrases you want to identify and include the search phrases. For example if I wanted to identify any user agent that either AcoonBot or Baiduspider, I would add “AcoonBot|Baiduspider” (pipe-delimited)
  10. Click 'Save'
  11. Click 'Create'

Using an ISP Provider-based rule

You'll know when you need to use this rule because the user agents look just like generic browser user agents. What WILL be consistent across all those clicks is the Provider.

  1. Rules 1-7 stay the same as above.
  2. When it comes to selecting your rule target, select 'ISP/Carrier'
  3. In the ISP/Carrier window that pops up, click 'Add Group'
  4. In the 'Manage Group' window, search for the relevant term and add the appropriate providers, then click 'Save'
  5. Click “Save”
  6. Click “Create”

Feel free to reach out to your CAKE Account Manager for a detailed walkthrough or for any questions.