How to prevent spam visits lowering the average visit duration?
Our competitors from India and China use bots to generate many spam visits to our website, stay for a very short time, and leave, which lowers the average visit duration of our website.
A low average visit duration will damage SEO and lower our ranking in Google.
- How to prevent this?
- Will Google count in the stay time of Google Bots and other bots? I think these bots will also stay for a short time.
- Will Google count in the stay time for 404, 500 and other error status codes? These error pages will also stay for a short time.
With my magic SEO hat on, I'd say there's a chance Google can see your data as long as you're using GA. HOWEVER (and this is important), I don't think it's possible to put your site down with low traffic quality (bot spam) using bounce visits. What could be more effective strategy would be generating Google searches accessing search results and bouncing back to search (it's called Pogo Sticking). If attacker could generate real traffic from real user agents with realistic (variable) behavior, while generating significant amount to dilute your overall numbers, I can imagine this causing serious harm. Because coming back to SERP from an already visited result is quite strong negative signal for Google.
How to prevent this issue in general? Honestly you can't prevent that. It's up to Google to identify such behavior and make sure that the artificial harmful traffic doesn't affect their rankings, which is their ultimate goal.