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BloodSlaughter

Traffic, search tool, use and abuse of BOTs

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Hello, iam posting this because i tried EVERYTHING (from reports to inworld discussion with LL employees) but i never had any clear answer from Linden Lab regarding this particular issue.

Use of bots/alts in order to boost traffic is quite common nowadays.

Abuses with bots/massive alts is forbidden according to Linden LAb bot policy: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Bot_policy

Especially this part of the TOS:

 

Quote

 

Enforcement

Linden Lab routinely looks at search results, and will treat use of bots to gain an unfair search advantage as an abuse issue. You do not need to file an abuse report for violations; Linden Lab monitors the search results.

To begin, Linden Lab sends a warning message to the land owner. If the issue persists, then account suspension or removal from search may result. If you feel there has been an unfair decision in this regard, use the abuse appeals process.

 

 

 

There are currently 3 different cases:

1/ the abuse is on the MAINLAND (LL owned lands), in this particular case, the report to LL is very reactive and LL applies TOS: OK.

2/ the abuse happens on a private estate owned by big estate rental companies (the abuser is the one that rents a parcel to the private estates): we need to report to the estate managers team (most of the time on their website or inworld to their support), here again, the TOS is applied very fast, the TOS is applied: OK.

3/ the abuse happens on a private estate owned by a single person. The abuser is the estate owner Himself. In this particular case, LL skips the report. And tell us that the estate owner is the only one who manage their estate activity. Thats LL answer. The reports are skipped totally. NOT OK

  We can see in numbr 3, that, in this particular case, the TOS isnt applied. This is clearly a void, and many , many, many abusers.

 I understand that private estate / full sims rented by a single person bring a lot of money/ profit to Linden Lab.

 Nevertheless, such abuse is VERY pOISONOUS to Search results, and globally to the whole second life activity.

Most often it results in a bad Second life search result, imagine newcomers use search tool, the top sims will be filled by massive alts/bots and no activity, this is destroying Second Life's image.

 

I actually got a complete list of many abusers/ lands/ estates/ number of bots, but this is useless, cause the situation s totally locked.

I wish that people wil help us in this debate to try to persuade Linden Lab to act on this matter. In the end the only important thing is that Linden Lab applies the "ENFORCEMENT" part of their own BOT POLICY TOS.

 

Dont forget that abusing search tool with fake traffic will slowly destroy all those who play fairplay (1/ and 2/ : small renters< 1 full sim), and they wil stop to rent parcels, in the end. So, in the end this is destroying SL buisness.

 

Thanks for the debate,

 

 

Edited by BloodSlaughter
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10 minutes ago, BloodSlaughter said:

this is useless

this is the most right part of your post.

You, nor me, can see if a avatar is a bot, only guess. And if the account is registered as bot, there is no problem at all, and again, we can not check if a account is registered as so.
Also.. static traffic is one of the possible filters LL uses to cut out of influence on ranking, real traffic is easy to track.

Your list of bad places is great, be sure to hand it to nobody and keep it for own use, spreading info that's not correct can be seen as breach of TOS.

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2 hours ago, Ethan Paslong said:

this is the most right part of your post.

You, nor me, can see if a avatar is a bot, only guess. And if the account is registered as bot, there is no problem at all, and again, we can not check if a account is registered as so.
Also.. static traffic is one of the possible filters LL uses to cut out of influence on ranking, real traffic is easy to track.

Your list of bad places is great, be sure to hand it to nobody and keep it for own use, spreading info that's not correct can be seen as breach of TOS.

Iam sorry, iam trying to explain a problematic, very kindly and from a customer point of view. No need to be rude with me . You are calling my post "useless" and making arrogant statements - no offense, but this is very rude.

Is that your way to answer to a customer? As far as i know, unless you are an employee, we are both customers. So, you and me are equal in second life.

 

You might have skipped a fact, the one that iam a customer, and i find very, deeply UNFAIR, that one customer paying a ful private sim get more privilege than one paying a 3/4, a 1/2, and less.

As a customer, i might have rented big places (club, etc.. even buisness places) and invested a lot of time and money in Second Life; in 2019, regarding the problem stated in Post #1, i might find it totally pointless to invest in SL, since LL doesnt apply their own TOS concerning traffic search monitoring.

 

Also, i dont have intention to "share a list", i just have this list in my mind, i reported but nothing is done.

 

I think that everyone could be equal regarding the money they are investing in Lands. We have moved to a total discrimination system. In this system those who pay a lot get ful privilege, those who pay less, less privilege.

 

Thats obviously the actual politic concerning SL management.

The average customer that cannot afford a full estate wil never do something "relevant, same with creators and business unless they pay the ful price - and then they wil be allowed to put massive amount of bots/alts to be at the top of the search.

 

 

Why beeing silent concerning the TOS? Proly cause you know iam right and the TOS could be applied as in past.

 

At least be honnest on that point which is that the current TOS isnt the reflect of the reality.

 

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1 hour ago, BloodSlaughter said:

iam trying to explain

no you'r not. You want everybody to comply to your rant, and thats not going to happen.

I said your post is useless because you try to fight windmills.
Bots are totally allowed, when used for traffic they have to be registered as bots so they can be filtered out of result. For many years not only traffic makes the ranking in search.

There's also no politics that only big players are in top of search. And also smaller shops/locations are in the top results, that some still put on badly constructed keywords and descriptions isn't the mistake of LL

 

1 hour ago, BloodSlaughter said:

making arrogant statements - no offense, but this is very rude.

as is your OP,  you publicly attack LL policies, fellow residents using their rights .. quite rude

 

2 hours ago, BloodSlaughter said:

 you and me are equal in second life.

big...really big mistake of the current modern thougts  ... we'r absolutely not equal, we do have the same rights, but equal, no, thats something totally different.

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You can report instances of suspected traffic bot use, Blood.  But as Ethan says, don't expect to see any action on LL's part.  If the store owner has registered the bots as "scripted agents"...which as Ethan says, you and I can't tell) then he can have all he wants.  They won't be counted for traffic purposes, and all they'll do is lag down his region.

Besides, traffic statistics are no longer a major factor in determining Search rankings.  People who still use them are just shooting themselves in the foot.

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11 minutes ago, Lindal Kidd said:

Besides, traffic statistics are no longer a major factor in determining Search rankings.  People who still use them are just shooting themselves in the foot.

This ^

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44 minutes ago, Ethan Paslong said:

no you'r not. You want everybody to comply to your rant, and thats not going to happen.

I said your post is useless because you try to fight windmills.
Bots are totally allowed, when used for traffic they have to be registered as bots so they can be filtered out of result. For many years not only traffic makes the ranking in search.

There's also no politics that only big players are in top of search. And also smaller shops/locations are in the top results, that some still put on badly constructed keywords and descriptions isn't the mistake of LL

 

as is your OP,  you publicly attack LL policies, fellow residents using their rights .. quite rude

 

big...really big mistake of the current modern thougts  ... we'r absolutely not equal, we do have the same rights, but equal, no, thats something totally different.

I said bot/alts.

Obviously you know nothing about this matter, then why do you even talk to me with such arrogance and attitude. All i see is someone defending hysterically LL (while i didnt attack policies, i stated that they werent applied, which is TOTALLY different) instead of talking about the subject. iam quoting  the TOS and you are starting to attack me instead of answering tome: such an attitude. You arent the center of SL sorry.

 

Do you want more example of the actual reality? Ill give you a silmple example:

 

i know someone that has been victim of such report, he had a place, then ofc, as usual a drama happened between him and someone. (my friend was boosting his traffic with alts for now MANY years- he hadnt a full sim but a 1/4 sim-i warned him many times but he never listened to me). The person he had drama with threatened him: "ill report you, i know a Linden Lab employee he will delete your traffic alts", then the abuse report came few days after the threat, and 10-15 avatars /alts from my friend been banned.

Do you know the fun fact?

The fun fact is that the ban came directly from LL while the land was rented and 1/4 sim (from one of those big estates renters)

 

Thats just an example of complete unfairness within second life.

At the opposite, *some other places* are *safe* and *allowed* to log *as many alts as they want for traffic purpose*

 

Edited by BloodSlaughter
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16 minutes ago, Blush Bravin said:

This ^

Thats absolutly wrong, traffic stats are a major criteria for most of the people.

Not for me , but for them, i know it, its not like i had 1000+ people in contacts back in the past. Thats the reality, they see 20000 traffic they think that the place is going well while it is filled with alts/bots, this is the reality. Go inworld talk to most of the people and you will understand this.

Il even add: go to those big places at the top of the search and try to have a normal discussion with those normal "standing" avatars that just stand there and do nothing (not talking, not moving, nothing)then give us your feedback, i guess you will give up very fast ofc they are just standing bots/alts

 

Edited by BloodSlaughter
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I am a merchant in SL, granted my business is small but I do have merchant experience. Back in the day when traffic actually mattered I went through the trouble of creating avenues to increase my traffic and in that time it made a difference. But honestly, since the growth of the Marketplace traffic is moot. I get traffic to my store from my MP listings not because people are using search to find me.  I get traffic to my store because my customers tell their friends about my products, again not because of anyone finding me in search. To be honest, I think search is rather useless when it comes to marketing your business in SL now. I don't care if a competitor has 100 alts camping in a little room above their store. It's not going to help their business, IMO.

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1 hour ago, Lindal Kidd said:

Besides, traffic statistics are no longer a major factor in determining Search rankings.  People who still use them are just shooting themselves in the foot.

That's what I've said many times, but apparently most people use Firestorm, and I think that Firestorm defaults to the legacy search. If it doesn't default to it, the way that Firestorm's search floater is arrange it's highly likely that a heck of a lot more people use the legacy search than I, and possibly we, imagined. Possibly most people who use Firestorm use the legacy search and, of course, that ranks places solely on traffic.

ETA: Of course inworld traffic doesn't help marketplace listings, but I'm sure than there are many people who shop inworld.

Edited by Phil Deakins
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53 minutes ago, BloodSlaughter said:

Thats absolutly wrong,

give us your feedback,

i guess you will give up very fast

 

the first two you got by several people now, but you simply refuse the input from experienced people here.

The last ... i agree totally... we'll give up on your opinion very fast.

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1 hour ago, BloodSlaughter said:

why do you even talk to me with such arrogance

I have indeed seen arrogance in this thread. It's in the text quoted below:

3 hours ago, BloodSlaughter said:

you know iam right

 

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As an aside, whenever anyone starts getting up in arms about bots here, I remember fondly this thread on the old Resident Answers forum. The OP there wanted residents to help with creating a blacklist of high-traffic-gamed regions. And, of course, being the public-spirited virtual citizens that we are, we jumped at the chance to help!

Edited by Skell Dagger

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OH YEEESSSSS! That was a thread. It really was. It's the funniest thread ever in these SL forums.

I wonder who eventually put her out of her misery by explaining to her what was happening 🙄

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Phil may have a point about Firestorm's legacy search.  I don't know whether or not LL modified the legacy search algorithm to discount traffic.  I do know that I default to the Websearch tab myself, but I have no idea what percentage of users prefers the older Places or Classifieds tabs.

However...Blood, what you are describing has nothing to do with search engines at all.  You're talking about PEOPLE looking for and preferentially choosing places with a high traffic count.  That may be true, but it's not what I was talking about.  

What I do know is that LL's policy against traffic bots has drastically decreased their use.  At one time, informal resident surveys indicated that as much as 25-30% of the online avatar population was bots...they were taking over the grid!  (LL never confirmed this with published data of their own).

So, rant about uneven enforcement all you want; there may still be loopholes and inequities.  But at least the Zombie Bot Apocalypse has been averted.

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How can this still be a topic in 2019?  Sometimes it feels that the more we move through time, the more we really just circle around again.  😒

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58 minutes ago, Gabriele Graves said:

How can this still be a topic in 2019?

I suppose it can still be a topic in 2019 because LL don't always enforce their ToS when breaches are pointed out to them. That's my guess, anyway.

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29 minutes ago, Phil Deakins said:

I suppose it can still be a topic in 2019 because LL don't always enforce their ToS when breaches are pointed out to them. That's my guess, anyway.

Selective enforcement is 100% a thing in SL. 

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On 2/10/2019 at 12:48 PM, Phil Deakins said:

I suppose it can still be a topic in 2019 because LL don't always enforce their ToS when breaches are pointed out to them. That's my guess, anyway.

Thanks a lot you understood my point totally.

 

On 2/10/2019 at 1:18 PM, Gadget Portal said:

Selective enforcement is 100% a thing in SL. 

Absolutly.

Then there is something wrong at some point.

 

SL Customers do have the (wrong) feeling that they can achieve something and make some buisness out of "skills" but we rather end in a slave system (similar as AMAZON, EBAY, UBER, YOUTUBE).

 

 

The trick is that the money and time investment arent ONLY EXTREM (comparativly to REAL LIFE JOBs) in 2019, but they are also INSANE, since we got absolutly ZERO chance to compete vs those people who own the biggest part of the buisness within SL.

Strangely those are LL protected and most of them are puppets that give an imagi of a "freelance buisness platform". This image was right around 2007-2010. This image is a SCAM in 2019.

 

This also explains the total fail of: sansar, high fidelity, etc.. Simply because people wont be fooled twice.

 

I stil dont understand how comes SL turned from something that payed hard work its real value, to something that is actually scamming people's time an money.

I estimate this change having happened around 2014.

 

 

Probably those at the top of the pyramid made giant profit and dont give a ***** anymore.

 

Then my last question is will you ever stop this joke or give us back our money?

Edited by BloodSlaughter
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its been 10 days;  a lot of people answered or reacted (with smiles?)but no one get any idea about the employee(s) in charge of applying the TOS (monitoring search results, and kicking out those full of alts/bots, especially in the particular case mentionned post#1) 

 

Oh crap, i think i forgot to pay an expensive premium account to receive such answer.

 

This reminds me of this story with the "flag bad review" on marketplace, i had flagged bad reviews (spam) many times on my mp but never had any single result.

My fiend also tried  and failed ; then she used the live chat from premium members support and the employee removed the bad review instantly.

 

Fun story indeed

Edited by BloodSlaughter

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On 2/9/2019 at 9:40 AM, Skell Dagger said:

I remember fondly this thread on the old Resident Answers forum.

Barely made it through the first few  posts. Now I'm laughing so hard I can't read the rest of the thread. 24.gif.085ddc5bf3393f62767da9a50f6ad591.gif

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1 hour ago, BloodSlaughter said:

no one get any idea about the employee(s) in charge of applying the TOS

It's called the legal department. 9_9

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Don't pay much too much heed to traffic Blood. Guests might go to that high ranking venue one time, but they will see it's effectively empty and not go back.

If your venue/shop is halfway decent it will pick up people.

Whatever you do, don't start blaming your low traffic on bots, instead look closer to home and find out why people are not staying with you. Put all this effort into improving your own ranking, rather then trying to knock people higher then you down.

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2 hours ago, Shudo said:

[...] rather then trying to knock people higher then you down

Ah, the good ol' days :D

It takes me back to the time when a guy decided to open a low prim furniture store in direct competition with me AND using my well-established and very succssful store's name - PrimSavers. It was at a time when influencing the search rankings was very easy if you knew how to do it. So I took steps to keep his store down in the rankings. I did it by promoting my own store and a few departments of my store, and also by promoting other people's stores without their knowledge. I pretty much controlled the top 10 results, and his store never got up there. His store didn't last long inworld, and he resorted to selling only from the marketplace. He didn't last long there either.

Ah, the good ol' days :D

 

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