January 29, 2018

What's up with Dnipro?

This is kind of freaking me out. Click to enlarge. This is what Google Analytics shows for the audience for my blog today, shown at the city level:



If I display the demographics of my audience at the country level, for today, 75.52% is from the United States and 17.51% is from Ukraine. The next highest country is Canada with 2.05%.

What could possibly account for this? Are these real readers? I assume not. Are there readers who make it look like they're in Ukraine? Are they robots?

UPDATE: I've narrowed it down and can see that the traffic from Ukraine began on January 26th. That was the day Trump spoke at Davos. There were a couple posts about that. The Ukraine traffic peaked on the 27th, with 21.55% of the readers coming from Dnipro that day.

68 comments:

David said...

Russians. Always Russians.

buwaya said...

VPN hiding IP addresses.
A bunch of people who like your blog may be even more wary of being traced.

Meade said...

I don't know but I'm sure it has something to do with Trump.

buwaya said...

"I don't know but I'm sure it has something to do with Trump."

Of course. They do not want to be associated with Trump-sympathy.

Leland said...

Rush talked today about how you can purchase Bots to inflate the number of readers.

buwaya said...

Maybe they are bots who are misdirected through links?

Zorfwaddle said...

Just watch your six. Could be some folks doing pen-testing, could just be Ukrainians interested in a story.

Russians are not Ukrainians, Ukrainians are not Russians, btb.

Jorge

Ann Althouse said...

"Rush talked today about how you can purchase Bots to inflate the number of readers."

I've never done that. I think that explains a lot of what's on Twitter.

John said...

I also use google blogger, although certainly not with the audience you have, about once every couple of months I will see a spike in visits, almost always from eastern Europe. I assume them to be bots and so far as I can tell there is no real damage to the blog.

Meade said...

We've been big in Philippines all month.

I'm guessing buwaya has long coattails.

Rabel said...

Average session duration "0.00."

They saw an Inga comment and were gone at the speed of light.

rhhardin said...

I sometimes get huge hits, which I attribute to somebody linking on a front page somehow, maybe a miniaturized version of a pic in some margin.

Rob said...

"The Ukraine is weak. It's feeble. I think it's time to put the hurt on the Ukraine."

Birches said...

Interesting. Someone posted your Alexa rank awhile ago. They said you had like 100k readers a day. Is that accurate? That's more popular than many publications!

Rabel said...

Can you query the IP addresses? There might only be one.

Ann Althouse said...

"Average session duration "0.00.""

Notice that the other cities have a duration more like 2 minutes.

I know why that happens. The length of a visit only registers as more than zero if the visitor clicks through to another page, such as going into the comments after entering on the front page. But if someone comes into a page and only reads that, no matter how long they stay, it's a zero.

So for the other cities, where you see a 2 minute average, that includes a very large number of 0s.

anti-de Sitter space said...

"I think that explains a lot of what's on Twitter."

They have this: https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/25/botometer-twitter-bot-hunting-probabot/

Need something like that, but for your data re folks/lyudi landing here.

rhhardin said...

Ukraine drops keep falling on my head.

Jim at said...

Most likely bots crawling for, and indexing, content.

Back in the day - when we were strictly running html (static) sites - it wasn't unusual to see one, single bot crawling for days on our main site. And if it was relevant, original content, other bots would get the word and join in.

Not so much now, as more and more people move to dynamic pages.

Each and every web site is 'talking' to two, main audiences. Always.
People and bots.

Balfegor said...

Ukrainians aren't Russians, but when a Ukrainian plant was suspected of having assisted the North Korean missile program, I saw news tweets blaming Russia before I saw articles come out acknowledging it was a factory in the Ukraine. Hysteria aside, Russia has many allies and operatives in the Ukraine.

Re: VPN, who would choose a Ukrainian IP to tunnel through? You would get IP blocked from all kinds of stuff wouldn't you? I usually use US or Japan, sometimes UK or France.

anti-de Sitter space said...

Obviously someone is trying to spike the numbers for Althouse. IOW, this took some amount of effort, it wasn't spontaneous.

Why? Motive?

Jim said...

Boris and Natasha says its Trump. But Moose and Squirrel live in Frostbite Falls Minn. so anything is possible here. I never trusted Rocky anyway.

anti-de Sitter space said...

"Most likely bots crawling for, and indexing, content."

GA filters bots and spiders.

Rabel said...

Althouse in Cyrillic is Aлтхоусе.

Darrell said...

Maybe they can fix Blogger's algorithm that deletes my comments.

Rob said...

Althouse is more likely in acrylic than Cyrillic.

StephenFearby said...

AA channeling Lady Macbeth:

Out, damned spot! Out, I say!

Ann Althouse said...

Remember, it started on the 26th, spiked the next day, and has tailed off since then. I assume it will soon be gone. The question is: Why?

Rabel said...

anti-de Sitter space in Cyrillic is нутйоб.

Ann Althouse said...

Notice that not one person is showing up to say I am from Dnipro!

I'm going to see if I can get a Google street view of the place. I'm curious now. I want to serve my Dnipro readers!

Jim at said...

GA filters bots and spiders.

I've been out of the business for years, so I have limited experience with what GA does or does not do anymore. But, I used to spend hours at the end of each day looking at our traffic logs 10-12 years ago.

I'd be surprised if her spikes in Ukrainian traffic were all unique, human eyeballs.

But, they may be. Things change, and they change quickly.

exhelodrvr1 said...

They are probably just passing through you to use Amazon, in some sort of money laundering scheme

Jim at said...

Remember, it started on the 26th, spiked the next day, and has tailed off since then. I assume it will soon be gone. The question is: Why?

Was it a site-wide spike, or can you determine if it was a single post or posts?

Rabel said...

Checked your bank account balance recently?

"0.00"

Drago said...

Balfegor: "Ukrainians aren't Russians, ..."


A large part of Ukraine was part of Russia for around 200 years and over half its current population are Russians.

n.n said...

Привіт? чи є там хтось?

MikeR said...

Прокляття - відкрито!

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mister Brickhouse said...

I am the Robots - doot-do-dee-doo - Ralph und Florian

Anga2010 said...

YAY! That's me in Lubbock ;)

David Begley said...

Where’s Wisconsin as a source?

Howard said...

Clearly you are a Kremlin stooge apologist shilling Trump for Amazon clicks. This clever little limited hangout is a nice touch. Carnac sees a 5-star trip to Austin this spring.

Leland said...

I've never done that.

I hope you know I believe you, but... there is more you can do with such bots; including inflating support for one viewpoint or another, and more often than not, setting up a DOS attack.

Oh, and Rush did mention it today.

Inga said...

Of course it’s Russians. They love all the pro Trump talk.

Meade said...

David Begley said...
"Where’s Wisconsin as a source?"

As far as I can tell there are only 3 of us in Wisconsin — me, the mrs., and a guy who lives in the neighborhood who uses the blog to track me so he can then stalk me when I'm out on my mt. bike.

Meade said...

I think he might be Ojibwa. Or Ho Chunk. Indigenous. Definitely not Russian or Ukrainian

D said...

So which US state are you LEAST viewed in (both gross pop & per capita)? Where are the People who do not yet know, or - egads - do not care to happen by??

robother said...

Althouse's becoming more selective in her Ukrainian appeal.

John Pickering said...

Russian infiltration techniques are formidable, certainly, viz. the NRA and the West Wing.

But Althouse?

I've wondered whether any of Ann's students read her, and now we know.

AlbertAnonymous said...

I’m a bit behind and didn’t read any of the comments... Someone already say “Russian Bots”?

Bad Lieutenant said...

As far as I can tell there are only 3 of us in Wisconsin — me, the mrs., and a guy who lives in the neighborhood who uses the blog to track me so he can then stalk me when I'm out on my mt. bike.

1/29/18, 7:14 PM
Meade said...
I think he might be Ojibwa. Or Ho Chunk. Indigenous. Definitely not Russian or Ukrainian

1/29/18, 7:17 PM

Chuck ain't Indian. But if Ann gives him an inch of encouragement, he'll knock you off that bike and ride it to your house, that is, if you have training wheels.

chickelit said...

"The Ukraine girls really knock Meade out, they leave West behind..."

Misheard lyrics

Earnest Prole said...

I'm not saying it's Russian bots, but it's Russian bots.

YoungHegelian said...

I wonder if you were some Ukrainian's English lesson for the day. "Stoo-dents, your assignment iz to peek a blog een Eenglish & vrite a descreepshun of whut it iz about.".

Remember that guy from the 2008 election from Germany or Scandinavia who asked us what we saw in Sarah Palin?

Ann Althouse, building bridges of mutual cruel neutrality across the world, one blog post at a time.

Johnathan Birks said...

I think the Average Duration metric says it all. Some bot loves it some Althouse.

Drago said...

Inga: "Of course it’s Russians. They love all the pro Trump talk"

They especially love how we are building up our military.

They really really love the fact that we are now exporting energy into Western Europe and undercutting Russian gas sales there.

Oh, wait....

Drago said...

Earnest Prole: "I'm not saying it's Russian bots, but it's Russian bots."

You stole that from Ace of Spades!

And I resent you for beating me to it.

Drago said...

Howard: "Clearly you are a Kremlin stooge apologist shilling Trump for Amazon clicks. This clever little limited hangout is a nice touch. Carnac sees a 5-star trip to Austin this spring."

mmmmmmmm, may a rabid otter find your leg!

Hiyoooooooooooooo!

Drago said...

adSs: "Why? Motive?"

Unlimited hotpockets.

Unlimited. Hotpockets.

'nuff said.

Drago said...

In ex-Soviet Dnipro, Althouse Blog always find you.....

PJ said...

i’m guessing they recently did facial rec on your blog and they think “Rob” looks a lot like someone who’s been on their target list since back in the Soviet era.

Yancey Ward said...

My first thought was it might have been a DOS attack that didn't succeed. Do those work well any longer?

Jon Ericson said...

Any possible connection to "edit conflict" or whatever that was called?
How far back can you look?
-or-
Botulism.

Daniel Jackson said...

Or, maybe some of the perspectives stated here about Mr. Trump and his foreign policies sparked some interest in Ukraine. Perhaps something about Mr. Trump being less than thrilled about Mr. Putin?

Just saying.

stlcdr said...

” I think that explains a lot of what's on Twitter.”

Modern internet based technology can easily be subverted and twisted. A lot of people put too much stock in the truthiness of the Internet; the irony is that all the news about fake news on the internet comes from the internet.

People - most normal people - either conciously or sub consciously can take a mental step back and not let it affect their lives.

Conversely, this traffic situation is caused by an event, and is a fascinating look at how things work outside our own little world. Especially in shithole countries which has literally shit rolling down the street and WiFi internet access.

Oso Negro said...


Blogger n.n said...
Привіт? чи є там хтось?


I knew it was you! It was probably caused by me writing to n.n. in his native Russian language about the Ukraine situation. The Russian filters picked it up and monitored the site to verify that n.n. was doing his job. Or is could have been my mention of "moose and squirrel" - that triggers them, you know.

Oso Negro said...

Honestly, I would be surprised if ANYONE has read your blog from Ukraine more than me. But we will see if anyone 'fesses up.

Joe said...

FYI, I once worked at an company which ultimately routed its traffic through eastern Europe. Yeah, lag was a problem.