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Home » SEO, Web Design

The Follies of Traffic Driving

Submitted by on July 11, 2009 – 4:31 pm 5 Comments

Imagine a busy street in the city with sidewalks packed with pedestrians. Hundreds of people are pushing and shoving, eating, arguing, talking on their cell phones and not paying any attention to each other. Suddenly, one of them stops and looks up, as if he was trying to see something on the roof of the nearby skyscraper. Shielding his eyes with a newspaper from the glare of the afternoon sun, he stares intently at the penthouse level of the giant building.

Shortly, the man is joined by another passer-by and then another. A few minutes later a small crowd forms on the side of the street and everybody is looking up. Now people are even pointing at something near the top of the building. The crowd grows and someone calls the fire department. Why else would a crowd of people be standing in the middle of the street staring at the roof of a building unless there was a fire? A police patrol notices the commotion and stops by to investigate with AR-15 Rifles. Now everyone on the street sees a police cruiser surrounded by a crowd of people and imagines a gruesome crime has been committed. They approach for a closer look.

What did the man see on the roof of the building? Nothing. Since early morning his neck was cramping up. He stopped and raised his head to relieve the tension. He was not looking at anything: he covered his eyes with a newspaper. The man is now long gone, but the crowd is still there, staring at the building. Someone says that there was a jumper on the ledge, but he now went inside. Police patrolman gets on the radio and calls for backup and a negotiator.

Traffic driving is the covert art of artificially inflating traffic to a Web site to increase the site’s apparent popularity and, hopefully, attract some real visitors. Indeed, if you think there is a popular site out there, you would want to check it out. It’s only gonna take a minute and won’t cost you any money, so why not? So how does one go about boosting fake traffic to one’s site? The process is not complicated:

  1. Get a large list of free public HTTP proxies
  2. Compile a list of URLs from your site
  3. Using each proxy, visit a few URLs
  4. ???
  5. Big profit!

Of course, to do this on any significant scale, some automation is in order. Perhaps a script that will download proxy lists from various sites, download the list of URLs from your site and then automatically visit these URLs using the each proxy server. Here is a very basic example of a Unix shell script that will go through a list of proxies and URLs and launch the browser to access each URL through each proxy (there is a plugin available for Firefox that automatically sets the browser proxy to the http_proxy environment variable):

cat proxy_list.txt | while read proxy
   export http_proxy=$proxy
   cat url_list.txt | while read url
      firefox "$url" &
   sleep 60
   killall firefox

Unfortunately, when you do something like this, the resulting traffic does not look very natural. Indeed, it would seem rather strange that every visitor to your site is accessing the same URLs and in the same order. Search engines don’t look kindly on this sort of shenanigans and your site may get banned. Here is an example of bad traffic driving: below is a traffic chart from one of the blogs listed on


Notice the suspiciously uniform gap between the number of unique visitors and the number of hits. This is exactly what you would expect to see when some script is used to access the same URLs through each proxy. Such a uniform pattern is unnatural because it is highly improbable that every visitor to your site will click on the same number of links. What you need to do is to access a random number of URLs from each proxy:

maxurls=$(echo "`expr $RANDOM % 15 `+1"|bc -l)
proxies_total=$(wc -l /tmp/traffic_builder_proxylist.txt | awk '{print $1}')
maxproxies=$(echo "`expr $RANDOM % $proxies_total`+1"|bc -l)
cat /tmp/traffic_builder_proxylist.txt | while read proxy
   echo "`expr $RANDOM % $proxies_total`^$proxy"
done | sort -n |  sed 's/[0-9]*^//' | head -${maxproxies} | 
while read random_proxy
   export http_proxy=$random_proxy
   urls_total=$(wc -l /tmp/traffic_builder_sitemap.txt | awk '{print $1}')
   urls_to_visit=$(echo "`expr $RANDOM % $maxurls`+1"|bc -l)
   cat /tmp/traffic_builder_sitemap.txt | while read url
      echo "`expr $RANDOM % $urls_total`^$url"
   done | sort -n | sed 's/[0-9]*^//' | head -${urls_to_visit} | 
   while read random_url
      firefox "$url" &
   sleep 60
   killall firefox

In this example, we set the maximum number of URLs ($maxurls) to visit between 1 and 15. Then we randomize the list of proxies and pick a random number of proxies from 1 to the maximum available. We use each selected proxy to visit a random number of URLs from 1 to $maxurls. The URLs themselves are picked at random as well. We will not be going into the number theory or discussing how random is “random”, but instead we will assume that it is random enough for our humble purposes.

By running this script in a loop, you will ensure there is no easily discernible pattern in your traffic stats. Let’s say we have a list of 99 proxies (proxy_list.txt) and a list of 99 URLs (url_list.txt) from your site. Running the script above once per day for a month may result in the following traffic stats:

As you can see, we got rid of the conspicuous parallel movement of the two lines showing visitors and hits. Obviously, the number of hits will still depend on the number of visitors, as it very well should. This dependency, however, will appear less robotic and more human. And that’s the goal.

In the end you need to understand that traffic driving is a gimmick, a makeshift tool that is barely usable. The main objective is to create real traffic, not fake. By trying to trick some search engine or directory, you will end up skewing your own stats and will lose track of what’s real and what’s imaginary. Spend more of your time and effort to generate real content that will attract real people. Otherwise, you risk believing in your own lies.

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  • Dark_LovexXx says:

    my family and I are heading to South Carolina for a vacation next week but its are first time going there… we really want to go to the beach and get a hotel there but we don’t know any beaches or city’s to go to any suggestions?

  • balinderk2000 says:

    I have been dating this amazing guy for about 2 1/2 weeks. We’re not boyfriend and girlfriend yet, but we like each other a lot and neither of us is dating anyone else, so I expect us to become official soon. I am 20, he is 24, and this other girl is 18. People like her because she is very unique and funny and strongly opinionated, but she is also very immature and crude. I have already had 3 or 4 other guys like her while they were dating me, so I am a little suspicious. My guy and I usually talk a lot during the day, but yesterday we didn’t talk for a few hours because I took a nap and then went out to dinner with my family. During that time, this girl posted a status saying she was crushing grapes at a winery and that there were grapes everywhere, and he commented, “You probably smell like them too.” I would think smelling like grapes would be a good thing. Later, she posted a status saying she likes to weave in and out of traffic, and he commented, “Keep doing it! The world needs more drivers like you,” and then something about how it is better to drive like that than to drive too slow and frustrate other drivers. I think he only knows her through Facebook and as far as I know she’s the only girl besides me that he does this to. He used to “like” and comment on her stuff a lot before he met me, but until yesterday, he had stopped. Should I be concerned or am I just being ridiculous? Should I ask him about it before we become official?

  • lucasg615 says:

    Hello everyone,
    I am considering moving to one of these cities. I will be looking for a job as a school counselor or something in a related field. I love going to coffee shops, going to the beach, dancing, clubs, bookstores, interesting architecture, etc. I currently live in a university town of 260,000 about a 9 hour drive to either of these cities. I like my town, but it doesn’t have much in respect to culture and diversity. So, based on this, which city, Savannah or Charleston, would you suggest?
    Also, I am single and looking. What are the single’s scenes like in these towns?
    Also, do you know about the differences in pay between the public school systems in GA and in SC?

  • henryshensbcglobalnet says:

    – scambastic

    – fritz pads

    – inside-out folly waves

    – schmish midgin

    – pocket-sized flea casings

    – great round cheerios

    – shredded buckets

    – rain-kissing polly-wocks

    – green cheese

    – holy banana coins

  • mike s says:

    I have a theory of why people who tailgate and constantly complain about “slow drivers in the left lane” might be running into this problem so often. Tailgaters/speeders might be creating their own problem. This is just a theory, and I would like to know what you guys think about it.

    Say you are on a highway with 2 lanes in each direction. The speed limit is 65, and you are going 75 nonstop. Chances are you are going faster than some of the other traffic. Since you are, the faster you go, the more vehicles you are going to come into “conflict” with in a short period of time, because you are passing a lot of slower cars and trucks. The more vehicles you pass as a result of going faster, the higher the chance of coming upon vehicles moving slower than you. Think about it, if you go faster you are covering more ground in a certain period of time. The more ground you cover, the more vehicles you will come across on the highway. The more vehicles you come across, the higher the chance that you will come across a slower vehicle in the left lane engaged in overtaking a slower vehicle. Simple probability suggests this would usually be the case. So my point here is that by speeding by a certain margin, you may be creating this problem of getting stuck behind slower vehicles yourself because your speed is causing you to come into conflict with a higher number of vehicles, since you are moving faster than some of the vehicles on the road.

    If someone was going the speed limit, for example, they would still come across vehicles in the left lane going 5 under the speed limit eventually, but not nearly as often as they would if they were going 75 in a 65. The closer your speed is to the slower driver’s speed (I’m not suggesting you have to go 5 under like they are), the longer it will take you to catch up to the slower vehicle, and therefore you will get ‘stuck’ behind them much less often. If you are speeding by a good margin, you will constantly be catching up to slower traffic, thus increasing the chances of running into one of these “left lane hogs”. Think about it. I hope this makes some sense, since it is kind of hard to explain.

    I’m not trying to change anyone’s behavior; how you drive is up to you, and you take with it whatever consequences may arise from it. I just think that these fast drivers may be creating this problem for themselves, rather than the slower drivers always being accused of being idiots. Just a thought. Do you guys agree/disagree, or have anything else to add? I’m not looking to tick anyone off here, so if you have an answer to this question, please try to give a civil response.
    Patrick W, notice I said in the question “if someone is currently engaged in passing a slower vehicle”. This would mean they can’t simply move over at the moment and get out of the way, because there is another vehicle to their right, which they are passing. So as soon as they finish passing, yes I agree they should move back to the right as soon as possible.

    And you say the left lane is for faster traffic, well if someone is going the speed limit and passing someone going 5 under, the speed limit driver is considered faster traffic at that time. They are faster than the person they are passing, therefore, they are faster traffic. But you are right, as soon as they finish passing, they should move back to the right when it is safe to do so.
    bungee, you’re right it doesn’t need to be this hard. But you know what makes it this hard? Speeders. If everyone could just maintain the speed limit and quit driving like inconsiderate as*holes, then you’re right, it wouldn’t be that hard.

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