Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The MOST common misconception when using a bot is that “I need to do everything as fast as possible as much as possible”. This leads to people complaining about rate limits, banned accounts, banned proxies, and ultimately no conversions. If you don’t read another line of this entire post read the next one.
When botting, rather than dozens of accounts attempting thousands of actions each, have thousands of accounts completing dozens of actions each.
Think of it this way … every action you take on a social network no matter if you are botting, using an api, or manually completing actions via your browser, every action is stored in a common database. One of the most primitive protections any social network puts into play is simple filters to detect activity outside of normal user behavior. Normal user behavior is determined from a range of average actions of millions of users. If you’re account travels “x” distance outside of these “normal usage” statistics, a simple filter can be put in-place to either A. Send your account to a manual review, or B. Automatic ghosting, or account banning.
Furthermore, take advantage of your bots delay and scheduling features if they are available. By placing a delay in between actions you decrease your odds of being flagged outside of “unnatural usage”. This may seem like common sense to many but so many do not get it so I have to say this.

Operate your bots as if you were operating your personal social media account.

We all know “that guy” that is constantly posting memes, selling skin care products, or using their social profiles to lure you into their not so successful network marketing disguised pyramid scheme every 2 minutes. Don’t be that guy (with or without your bot). Rate limiting is the key to success of not only keep your accounts alive but also to retain your audience. A good rule of thumb is 80% value, 20% pitch.
Posting constant offers, exceedingly too fast will not work for several reasons. Here is why. Many networks have popular pages, timelines, news feeds, etc that work off of complex algorithms, some more complex than others. These algorithms work off a series of variables that involve, time, weight, and affinity (sometimes). For example, let’s say you share an image to your friends on facebook. Your chummy happens to see it because he is online the same time you post it (time), it got a lot of likes and comments (weight), and you have a lot of friends and interest in common (affinity). A simpler example could be illustrated using instagram. Instagram takes into consideration “likes performed”, “comments made”, and the amount of time the actions happen in in order to determine which images make it to the popular page. Which brings me to my next point.
Never load your “official” account into a bot.

Some of the questions I get are from musicians, artist, small business owners, and service providers. They are looking for a way to increase their followers, likes, klout, kudos, or popularity in one way or another so the first thing they do is hop on the “money account” and start mass following, and unfollowing. This is the wrong way to go about it. Let’s use a hip hop artist for example. Everyone has had that hip hop artist that has followed them right? Most of you will carry on, not knowing you scooped up another follower, some of you will automatically follow back with no intention of ever engaging with this person, others will just ignore, and a very small percentage of you will actually go check this artist page out to see if it’s someone you are interested in following. Upon arriving at his page what do you see? You may say to yourself “He’s been following a ton of people lately! Matter of fact, his number increased 15 followings just during the time I’ve been on the page? He must be REALLY desperate for fans”. That hip hop artist just lost any chance of being an authority. The goal is not to follow people as a “virtual beg” to get them to follow you back using ONE account to follow and unfollow. The goal is to be an authority, and the blackhat way you do that is by hitting the popular pages by leveraging the power of your own army of accounts OR following and un-following on your “throw away” accounts that ultimately promote your main account.

Now let’s talk a little bit about anonymity

YES you need proxies. If you ever ask “do I need proxies” and someone says “no” do not buy that bot. It will ultimately be useless as it can only manage a handful of accounts. You ALWAYS need proxies when botting, so stop asking the question. Proxies are the quarters you put into the arcade machine to play. Without proxies you are not even close to playing the game. The second most common proxy question I get is “How many proxies do I need per account“?The answer to this varies drastically from network to network but before you even think about asking this question here is what you do … Find a proxy provider, there are several here in the forums. Ask them for a demo as any good provider will let you test before you buy. Take ONE ip from the demo and attempt an action on 5 accounts using that ONE ip. Work your way up as high as 20 accounts per proxy till you determine the proper ratio before consequence. The third most common proxy question/complaint I get is “Do I have to pay for proxies” The answer to this is NO, you do not have to pay for proxies, but comparing private proxies to public proxies is like comparing a honda civic to a ferrari. If you want to use public proxies for account creation, mundane task. FINE. But I highly recommend investing into private proxies especially once you’re accounts start seeing some nice activity. The last thing you want is to have a popular account banned because you were too cheap to buy a $1 proxy.

Why you no get conversions?
I get this quite a bit … “Man! You won’t believe it … I sent 5,000 visitors and made a whopping $0.00!” Well unfortunately 90% of the time this is user error. Driving the traffic is really only 33% of the game. Funneling the traffic and converting it is the remainder, and the BEST way to do this is to PICK THE RIGHT NICHE for the RIGHT SOCIAL NETWORK. The best way to do this is to find out what are other similar sites to the network … you can do this by researching the network with quantcast. I.E. will have an area “audience also likes”. This data is invaluable, use those sites to leverage relative offers that actually peak interest in your traffic! If you still fail to convert think about adding another layer to your funnel such as an email opt-in form or trying 100% targetted niches like “buy more followers, etc”
That’s all for tonight. I hope this helps clear things up a bit for you. I will add more to this post tomorrow, and continue to do so as long as I keep getting questions.
Working with large ammounts account data
One of the most frustrating things for a lot of people when botting is working with the account data. Most bots will import and export account data in a format that may look like this…
Username:Password:ProxyIP:ProxyPort:ProxyUser:Prox yPassword:extrafields
The first thing to know is that any fields that are not required such as proxy username, and proxy password for public proxies, can be replaced with a “0″. The second thing to know is that you CAN mass edit this data very easily … here is how.
1. Export your accounts from your software platform.
2. “FIND and REPLACE” the ” : ” with ” , “
3. Save the file as a .CSV
4. Open the new file with Excell OR Google Drive Spreadsheet
you will now be able to change columns, and shift your account data as needed
Where can I find good cheap proxies?
If you see good and cheap in the same sentence run for the hills. There is no such thing as GOOD and CHEAP. Choose one of the two. Here are some sources, when buying proxies ALWAYS ask for a test BEFORE you purchase to make sure they work on the network you will be using them on. Any reputable supplier will give you a free test.
If you see errors in your bots log such as “503, 404, 500″ etc then use to determine what your error means exactly. Just replace E500.html with E(yourerrornumber).html
How much money are you making a day?

This is probably one of the most notorious noob question in the whole industry. This question essentially means “I havn’t taken any action, because I am waiting to feed off of someone elses success, please hold my hand and tell me exactly how to do it”! So don’t ask that question! Real earners rarely give you there figures and it’s even rarer to get an offer or an exact method out of them. You must be RESOURCEFUL and CREATIVE and SPLIT TEST till you find something that works for you. The REAL answer to this question literally ranges form $0.00 to thousands a day. The ones that are doing thousands are the ones that have kept there mouth shut and perfected a method all on there own. Keep this in mind … just because you have an automated toolset does not mean that all the work is done for you. Botting is hard work.
What is the best CPA network?
This really comes down to volume. Personally I like a less mainstream network that is able to assign me an account manager that is either part owner, or has a high stake into the company so that when I start sending good ammounts of traffic, I am able to immediately negotiate my rate per lead. If you think you are getting jipped by your network always keep in check with to see what everyone else is paying for the same offer. Below are some of my favorite small to mid-size networks.
And here are a few of the larger networks with easier approval / more offer variety
Need offers for india?
Update 10-01-2012

GEO Targetting your traffic

Only on rare cases can a bot drive GEO targetted traffic. So what you want to do is either A. Have an offer or website that can benefit from ALL traffic or B GEO target your traffic. Most CPA advertisers want their traffic segmented BEFORE it hits their offers landing page, and this is where GEO targetting comes into play. Basically you will send your leads through a script on your server that will decipher the visitors location using a script combined with a geo database of sorts and then fwd that traffic to the defined offer for that particular location. Since most social networks have traffic from all over the world, GEO targetting can sometimes earn you up to 5x more than if you were to just send all your leads to a USA based offer. There are a few scripts right here on BHW that will do this for you free, just type in “GEO Target script” in the search bar.


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