August 7th, 2015
Posted by pftq

pq Visitor Counter and Tracker - Improved Spam and Bot Detection

The pq Visitor Counter and Tracker is an old but useful script, which has been integral in helping me keep track of what users are seeing on the site and cutting out spam/bots who are being more of a nuisance.  Its primary functions are as a unique visitor and view counter, but because it is virtually part of every page on the site, it comes in very handy as well for controlling entry points to the site, seeing malicious activity as they happen, and creating filters to block less friendly users based on the pattern of their activity.  This filtering then subsequently lends itself to cleaner analytics and understanding of how many real users you have and what their activities are.

I've spent the last few days adding new methods to tracking spam and bots so as to shut them down early if they're malicious and track/filter them out from being treated as human (for visitor counting, comments, etc) if they're crawlers.  I've also improved the look of the tracker page, so it's easier to identify between human, bot, and spam.  Bots are highlighted in a light shade of green now, with their user agents or other identifying factors similarly highlighted.  Spam is struck out in red to indicate they are being shut down on your site and definitely counted into your hits.  See the below screenshot or go straight to the visitor counter's demo to play around with it yourself.
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