All Good Things Must Come To An End

As you all know, I have been doing WordPress plugins and supporting it for the past 6 years. These 6 years of my life, I have been through my polytechnic education, my national service as well as my university education.

I just graduated from university in December 2009 and have been looking for full-time jobs. I am offered a full-time job and will be starting work on 1st February 2010.

I regret to say that I am NOT ABLE to provide support for my plugins anymore due to my full-time job commitment. I will leave this forum open and let the community help one another.

However, I WILL still update my plugins whenever I can and you still can report bugs to me via email and I will try to fix it.

Author Topic: Page views count skewed by spam commenters  (Read 5273 times)

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Offline slobjones

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Page views count skewed by spam commenters
« on: 02 August 2009, 19:20 »
Lester, I've found that Post Views has the same problem as every other "popular posts" plugin, in that the page counts are distorted by hits on the blog from spam commenters.

Since the spammers tend to hit the same blog posts again and again, those posts also top the Post Views count.

I was hoping the "Exclude Bot Views" option in Post Views would filter out the spam comment hits, but it doesn't.

Is there any way to prevent this problem, such as filtering the results through Akismet?

Statcounter, Google Analytics and other services ignore spam hits. Why can't Post Views do the same?

I figure if there's any plugin author who can get the job done, it's you.

Thanks.

Offline GaMerZ

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Re: Page views count skewed by spam commenters
« Reply #1 on: 03 August 2009, 05:03 »
Bots are predictable, they got the same user agent, but spam bots are not. Filtering it though will make it the site load even slower as it has to contact a 3rd party service before deciding whether to count the visit as one hit.

++ lesterchan.net - Lester Chan's Website

I regret to say that I am not able to provide support for my plugins anymore due to my full-time job commitment. I will leave this forum open and let the community help one another.

Offline slobjones

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Re: Page views count skewed by spam commenters
« Reply #2 on: 03 August 2009, 06:46 »
Bots are predictable, they got the same user agent, but spam bots are not. Filtering it though will make it the site load even slower as it has to contact a 3rd party service before deciding whether to count the visit as one hit.

Why is it that Statcounter and Google Analytics do not record the spam comment hits on my site, but PostViews and other "popular posts" plugins do?

These plugins are essentially validating the efforts of spammers. It's just as if I disabled Akismet and let the spammers have their way with my site.

Offline GaMerZ

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Re: Page views count skewed by spam commenters
« Reply #3 on: 03 August 2009, 08:41 »
As I said, it is not feasible to go through a 3rd party service just to check whether the post should be counted as 1 hit. Goggle and stats counter are 3rd party services that can filter off IP address on their end and they offer much more features then just count post.

So in your case you might want to disable popular post and wp-postviews as it does not fit into your requirement.

++ lesterchan.net - Lester Chan's Website

I regret to say that I am not able to provide support for my plugins anymore due to my full-time job commitment. I will leave this forum open and let the community help one another.

Offline slobjones

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Re: Page views count skewed by spam commenters
« Reply #4 on: 03 August 2009, 18:40 »
So in your case you might want to disable popular post and wp-postviews as it does not fit into your requirement.

Don't see where it would fit into anyone's requirement, Lester. If I want to know how many spammers are hitting my site, I'll just check Akismet.

Offline GaMerZ

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Re: Page views count skewed by spam commenters
« Reply #5 on: 03 August 2009, 19:27 »
Your requirement is pretty obvious that your priority of spammers hitting your site is higher than that of counting views per post or popular post and hence both the plugins are not suitable for you. You may want to use a 3rd party service like WordPress.comn Stats or Google Analaytics to see your post count over the backend instead.

++ lesterchan.net - Lester Chan's Website

I regret to say that I am not able to provide support for my plugins anymore due to my full-time job commitment. I will leave this forum open and let the community help one another.

Offline slobjones

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Re: Page views count skewed by spam commenters
« Reply #6 on: 03 August 2009, 23:53 »
Your requirement is pretty obvious that your priority of spammers hitting your site is higher than that of counting views per post or popular post and hence both the plugins are not suitable for you. You may want to use a 3rd party service like WordPress.comn Stats or Google Analaytics to see your post count over the backend instead.

You're completely missing the point. I want to display Popular Posts on my site. I want that information to be ACCURATE, not skewed by spam comment hits.

If all PostViews can do is provide is a list of posts that are popular with SPAMMERS, then why the heck would anyone want to use it?

I expect way better from you, Lester.

Offline GaMerZ

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Re: Page views count skewed by spam commenters
« Reply #7 on: 04 August 2009, 05:57 »
I get your point completely, but I think you do not get mine. It is not feasible to have WP-PostViews check EVERY visit against a 3rd party service (because it will just slow everything down) whether should the hit be counted as a legit hit. Google Analytics, WordPress.com Stats and most of the stats service use their own server to host all these information display it for you to see on their webpage and not embed it in your site.

WP-PostViews
Visit (Your Server) -> Check Visit Legit (3rd Party Service) -> If valid (3rd Party Service) -> Record the visit (Your Server) -> Increment the counter (Your Server)

Google Analytics
Visit (Your Server) -> Record/check/process the visit (3rd Party Service) -> Display it (3rd Party Service)

How the information flows.

The reason why we can block bots count because they are predictable, all their user agents have been hardcoded in the plugin, so it does not need to check with another 3rd party service.

Sorry if I don't meet your expectations, after doing this for almost 5 years, I have learn that it is impossible to please everyone.  :-[

On a side note, you can block spam bots if you know their IP from visiting your site via htaccess.
« Last Edit: 05 August 2009, 03:54 by GaMerZ »

++ lesterchan.net - Lester Chan's Website

I regret to say that I am not able to provide support for my plugins anymore due to my full-time job commitment. I will leave this forum open and let the community help one another.

Offline slobjones

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Re: Page views count skewed by spam commenters
« Reply #8 on: 12 August 2009, 16:40 »
Lester, thanks for addressing the issue. You are a bright and talented plugin designer, and I admire your work.

Still, I would conclude that "popular post" plugins, while representing an attractive idea, just aren't feasible for WP.

Offline Electron

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Re: Page views count skewed by spam commenters
« Reply #9 on: 17 August 2009, 21:52 »
This is very true, but how about 1 ip address equals to 1 permanent view or 1 ip address equals 1 view per day. That way these spam bots would decrease and it won't slow the server much.

Its not only these spam bots that are ruining the point of this plugin but users as well who enjoy wasting their own time just to get their own post to get into popular section.

Overall, this is a great plugin and you are very talented Lester and I understand that you can't pleese everyone but it would be great if you tried adding an option to the panel like this or anything that will stop these spammers.

Offline GaMerZ

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Re: Page views count skewed by spam commenters
« Reply #10 on: 18 August 2009, 03:27 »
Adding 1 view per IP would be also heavy for the server because I have to query the DB to check if the IP is being recorded for the post, if it is not being recorded, I have to use another query to record it.

I don't intend to do anything about logging IP and stuff. I just want to keep the plugin simple but just accumulating the post views because it just uses the WP Custom Field.

If you are worry about spam bots, I would suggest ban their IP using your htaccess.

++ lesterchan.net - Lester Chan's Website

I regret to say that I am not able to provide support for my plugins anymore due to my full-time job commitment. I will leave this forum open and let the community help one another.