Monday, 17 April 2017

The Case Of The Twilight Phantom #1: What We Know

Well guys, it happened again. At the strike of midnight there was another unexplained spike in traffic; coming and going just as mysteriously as before. That's twice within the space of 24 hours, and I'm still no closer to being able to offer an explanation as to what's happening.

I have however drawn a few conclusions from the data at hand..

1: There's a singular source.

 This is the only explanation that makes any kind of sense to me. It's not impossible for this to be more than one person based upon the data collected, but it is certainly implausible. One person creating these data spikes for some unknown reason is barely rational as it is, but for it to be a group or a network.. Well that just stretches credibility to breaking point.

2: The source is likely using a bot or web crawler of some kind.

Again, based upon the data captured, this seems like the most logical explanation. All of the views have been spread pretty equally among my posts. So where a human might simply refresh the page to create the spike, a bot or crawler is far more likely to work through links.. And each post is technically a hyperlink.

Another indicator that this isn't human activity is the sheer volume of traffic (175, 78, and 74 views respectively). Excluding this post there are only 67 posts on this entire blog, and I highly doubt that anyone is reading them twice.. Certainly not twice within the space of an hour! They are however loaded with links,  which might bounce a bot to the same post more than once.

3: The source is not malicious.

Whilst what's happening is a bit of a mystery, I don't believe what's happening has any kind of sinister undertone. Comments aren't being left that are either directing readers to download malware, or making threats; so I think it's safe to say there is no dark intent here.

4: This isn't off the back of links I've put out there.

The nature of the internet is inter connectivity, so I could well understand if the traffic was as a result of the suspected bot trawling a site where I had a link. That doesn't seem to be the case though. Blogger tells you where your traffic is coming from, and these spikes exceed all of  my listed sources considerably. It's almost as if this crawler is directly aimed at this blog for some unknown reason.

So that's what I think is happening. Not that I can be sure of course, but based on what I know so far these are the conclusions that make the most sense to me. Somebody for some reason as of yet unknown to me is crawling the site, and generating traffic spikes.

Am I concerned? Not at all, but I certainly am curious! I mean how often do you find yourself in the middle of your own mystery novel? It's exciting! So much so that I've decided  to chronicle this little adventure under it's own noir-esque tag; The Case Of The Twilight Phantom.

Now we just have to wait for The Phantom to strike again! 


  1. I suspect key words being detected. I have some posts on my blogs that defy logic in terms of their relatively popularity compared to other posts on the same blog.

    As long as it is nothing sinister, traffic is good. :)

    1. It's certainly a possibility, although I'm not too sure what keyword(s) would cause such an even split across so many different, and unrelated posts.

      It's something I should certainly look into though; as there may be a pattern that I've missed somewhere along the lines.

      I couldn't agree more though. Traffic is good. I just wish I understood where it was all coming from! Lol.