educational

The Way Traffic Is Cleaned

Mark Edwards
Phising scams, "Nigerian" email scams, 419 spam, credit card fraud and fraudulent sales – do any of these ring a bell for you? They do for me! They belong to the dark and ugly side of the Internet and 98 percent of them come from countries which I even haven't heard about. Fighting against these abuses is not only a personal preference, but almost our obligation.

From my introduction you might realize that I hate any kind of scam or fraud and I really despise people whom are making a living from conning others on the Internet. When I first read Zoltan Csesznik's article at XBIZ, "Less Traffic, More Profit," I felt in my veins that this subject requires a closer look.

For those who haven't read the article, it was about making more money and eliminating Internet fraud by blocking poorly converting traffic from less-developed countries. What I found interesting was the method of filtering. In the middle of the article was a link to a site called TrafficCleaner.com. The site promises more profit with less traffic and other advantages like saving server resources and cutting costs.

The idea itself sounds interesting: remotely filtering traffic (IP-country based) without installing scripts and/or databases, just by pasting a small code into your website.

On the main page of TrafficCleaner.com was written that the service was provided free of charge, so I immediately became skeptical: what is the catch? In my opinion, nowadays, there is no free dinner; sooner or later everything will take its toll. So before signing up, even for free, I contacted the website to explain its "free" concept.

The reply was fast and clear. The service is in its beta period and they haven't decided how to proceed, or in their words "Only later on we will decide if and how to eventually commercialize the entire solution or parts of it." They explained that TrafficCleaner was developed for their own websites; but pointing to their own demands for such a service, and since they also hate fraud, they decided to make it publicly available for free.

But let's take a deeper look at the service. After the signup process you get your own filtering account. In the account you can set your filtering preferences, grab the website integration code, see visitor statistics and change account settings. In the "filter settings" you can define which countries to accept or block by moving the countries between two selection boxes. The process reminds me of picking out countries in Google Adwords. After this step you can pick up the website integration code (which is very similar to a hit counter code) and paste it into the page(s) you want to start filtering traffic on. That's it.

How does it work? The code is loaded when the webpage is loaded. If the visitor is from a country which is on the 'Allowed' list, then nothing will happen. But if the visitor is from a blocked country, he will be "sucked out" from the webpage to a destination or blocking URL which you previously defined in your account. If he tries to revisit your web page, he will be "sucked out" again and again...

But how does the code work exactly? As a webmaster and web developer, I must say that I have no idea. They are using a PHP script which is loaded into an iFrame. To the best of my PHP knowledge, it's not possible to jump out of the parent window of the iFrame. While you can paste JavaScript into PHP code, when I turned my JavaScript engine off, the code was still operational.

About the results: it's all true as claimed. I pasted the code into my website and noticed all of the advantages what are mentioned on the TrafficCleaner website. My bandwidth use really dropped down and connection times improved. As a movie sample on my site runs from five to seven megabytes, it matters if it's downloaded thousands of times less.

Furthermore, I have a friend who operates an adult discussion board and scammers are really a pain in his ass by posting their cons. I suggested that he give TrafficCleaner a try to get rid of spammers. Let me tell you, he was amazed – he eliminated 95 percent of all the scammers in one day.

I wrote this article because I believe that this product really deserves some exposure and hope that you all will support this free service which makes our Internet world better.

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