Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Jeremy to Microsoft Live "quality" bot: you're doing it wrong

I don't recall exactly how long ago it was, perhaps a few weeks or months ago, but I started noticing a few odd referrals in the traffic stats for one of my other blogs. At the time, this was happening at least a couple times a day. I would see one-word searches coming from search.live.com. It took me a few days to realize that this was some sort of Microsoft search bot. Since it only hit my site a couple of times a day, I didn't think much of it. But this morning I checked my stats, and out of 128 unique visitors for the day up to that point, 18 of those visits were from the live.com bots. That comes to 14% of my traffic. I did a search and learned that these are "quality control" bots of some sort. Really, Microsoft? What is so special about your search engine that you have to skew everyone's traffic statistics? I have not once had a human referred to my site by the live.com search engine, so I have no qualms over hiding my site from their bots entirely, or generating completely bogus content specifically for them. Either way, I've set up my web stat software so that range of IP addresses is filtered. Surely Microsoft can find a better method of controlling their quality. Wait, look who I'm talking about. Never mind.

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