In this episode we talked about 57% of your traffic being non-human:
Wildcard DNS coming to Let’s Encrypt in January 2018:
Asana finally has start dates:
Facebook will begin demoting content from oversharers
News from Google
- Pages can rank even if the query isn’t present on that page
- Publishing 100,000 pages at once is not an SEO problem
Tip of the week
We all love getting more traffic to our websites. Seeing those lines trend upward in Google Analytics is awesome, but did you know that more than half of the traffic to your website is non-human?
Before we get into that though, this is A Brighter Web, episode number seven, brought to you by all of us at GreenMellen, which includes me, Mickey Mellen, and some of my awesome coworkers and friends that you’ll hear in future episodes. Our goal with this podcast is to share news, products and ideas with you so we can all make the web a brighter place to be. These might be actual web tips, talking about strategy, WordPress plugins, and UX, or it might be productivity ideas to help you get more done and free up your time to do great things. We also want to thank our sponsor, ClickHOST.com. ClickHOST provides top rate web hosting at prices as low as $5 a month. Visit ClickHOST.com/abw for an exclusive 20% off discount for listeners of A Brighter Web.
Today, we’ll talk more about your nonhuman website traffic, wildcard DNS coming soon from Let’s Encrypt, Asana finally adding start dates, Facebook will begin demoting oversharers, and various news from Google. Let’s dig in.
A recent thread over at Webmaster World dug into the amount of non-human traffic that a site might see. A breakdown of typical traffic on a site might be 28% search engines and other good bots, 10% scrapers and downloaders, five percent from hacking tools and scripts, one to three percent automated link span, and 12% from other impersonations. That’s 57% meaning just 43% of traffic is human. It certainly can vary quite a bit from site to site, but that seems to be a pretty good average. The good thing is that, Google Analytics does a pretty good job of filtering out that stuff meaning, their numbers are pretty close to accurate. This is also why, if you compare your Google Analytics stats to stats from your hosting company, the hosting company will almost always show much, much higher numbers. They have all that stuff factored in, while Google Analytics filters it out.
At this point, I hope most of you have SSL enabled on your site, where the address begins with HTTPS, instead of just HTTP. This keeps everything more secure for both you, and your users. And it’s free on most web hosts now using a product called Let’s Encrypt. Let’s Encrypt is about to take things further by allowing WildCard DNS starting in January of next year. This means if you have sub domains on your site like, news.abrighterweb.com and, podcast.abrighterweb.com or things like that. Those you can get all encrypted in one shot, versus having to get separate certificates for each one.
That doesn’t apply to many of you, but if you have some sub domains, that’ll be a great thing to have. Let’s Encrypt has been an awesome addition to the web, having taken things from about 40% encrypted to 58% encrypted in the last few years, thanks to their free service they offer. So, if you’re not encrypted with SSL yet, I encourage you to do it. And if you have a lot of sub domains, they’ll have you covered, starting in January.
One of our favorite tools at GreenMellen is Asana. Asana is similar to Trello and Basecamp, and some of those with tasks and task lists to help you get your day organized and keep on track. One thing they’ve been missing for years was start dates on tasks. You’d set a due date for your task, and it would trigger automatically to the upcoming group when it was a week out or into today, based on that due date, which was great. The problem was, if a task was heavily involved it would take more than a few days to do. It would only bubble up at the last minute, and you may run a little bit late.
So we had some weird work arounds we used a GreenMellen, but it was never ideal. And Asana last week, just launched multi-day tasks. Basically, this means for each task you can assign a start date, and a due date to a single task. It’ll bubble up based on the start date, but then the user can still see the due date to know when it’s done. It’s really a small thing, but as heavily as we use Asana and thousands of others use Asana, this is a great addition to it.
The one catch is that, Asana’s free version is very feature packed and does the job for most people, and this is a premium feature. Now, the premium cost is only like, seven dollars per user, per month, so it’s not a big deal. But this is a good reason to make you upgrade. In fact for us, we had stayed on the free version until last week when we got this to upgrade, and we’ll talk more about Asana in a little while.
In news that almost all of us will like, Facebook has announced that they’re gonna begin demoting content from over-sharers. They’ve defined over-sharers as people who 50 or more links per day. And I’m sure all of us would love to see less from those kinds of people. Facebook’s news feed VP, Adam Mosseri said, that sharing 50 plus links a day is “One of the strongest signals we’ve ever found for identifying a broad range of problematic content.” In other words, people that share that much, tend to post garbage, and Facebook is gonna automatically start demoting that. So that’s certainly a good thing.
This shouldn’t apply to you too much, I don’t think many of your companies out there share 50 or more links per day. If you do, you may want to consider sharing a bit less, and make your content higher, while reducing the quantity just a little bit.
A few pieces of news from Google. And a lot of the news we share in here, it’s not really news but more just confirmation of things we already knew.
First, Google has said definitively that pages can rank even if a query isn’t present on that page. A great example of that is the famous “click here” search where for years, Adobe ranked first for “click here” for Acrobat. And everyone’s saying, if you need to download a PDF, you can click here if you get Acrobat Reader and it would rank well. Another good example is when George W. Bush was in office, hundreds of bloggers linked to the White House website with the word, “miserable failure”. And he ranked well for “miserable failure”, without having that word on his page.
Google has done some things to remove some of those “Google bombs”, like the miserable failure piece, but certainly can still rank for text that isn’t exactly on your page. Part of this is because Google has somewhere around 400 million searches every day that are brand new queries they’ve never seen before. Some quite long and complex, but Google always has results for them, so they find the best fit, even if it’s not an exact fit. So, you certainly still want to try to rank well for those keywords you’re going after, but Google will often find ways to bring people to you if you’re close enough. Even if that query isn’t exactly present on that page.
In addition, something that was a little bit surprising to me is, Google’s John Mueller said that, publishing a hundred thousand pages at once as an example, is not an SEO problem. They said, in fact, if you have a lot of content to add, “artificially inducing a kind of trickle into the index is something that often causes more problems than it solves”. So if you have a lot of content, Google advises you just to go ahead and publish it. They’ll index it over time, and they’ll rank it accordingly. But if you try to fake load it in slowly over time, it actually could cause some other problems, so just go ahead and let it go.
Lastly is our tip of the week. And out tip this week is to give Asana a try. If you’re not sure what you want to use for project management, or you’re not happy with what you have, I encourage you to try it out. Like I said before, it’s free for teams of fewer than 15 people, though the paid options such as the new multi-day tasks are fairly compelling. Now that they have multi-day tasks, it was an easy decision for us to upgrade, because we really wanted that one feature, but it gave us a few other great features as well.
One nice one is the dashboard as you can see, to get an overview of your projects. The free version, you can only show three projects at a time in there, on paid you can show unlimited projects. They also have dependent tasks, improved search, custom fields, and custom project templates on the paid version. But again, aside from those multi-day tasks, the free one does an awful lot. So check it out for yourself at asana.com.
That’s all we have for this week. You can find me on Twitter at mickmel, m-i-c-k-m-e-l or learn lots more at greenmellenmedia.com. And you can find out more about the Podcast including show notes and links at, abrighterweb.com, or on Facebook or Twitter at, @abrighterweb. If you’re in the Atlanta area, come check out our meet up, held three times each month. If you’re not in the Atlanta area, we post recaps on the site soon after each meet up. Either way, you can learn more about that at, abrighterweb.com/meetup. Thanks for listening.