ClickMagick's Click Filtering System


This document is outdated. Learn about ClickMagick's Click Auditing System


We're obviously biased, but we've poured a lot of time and resources into the development of our filtering system, and we firmly believe it's the most accurate "traffic cleaning" system of its kind ...

... and we'll even pay you to help keep it that way!

Please keep reading for more info about our filtering system, answers to common questions, and more information on how you can help us ensure that the filtering system is as accurate as possible.


How accurate is ClickMagick's filtering system?

Our own internal testing, and analysis of millions of clicks our customers have received, indicates that our filtering system is over 99.9% accurate.

In real-world terms that means that out of every 1,000 filtered clicks, you'd have a hard time finding even 1 legitimate click that was filtered incorrectly.


Do you use any outside data or 3rd-party APIs?

ClickMagick's filtering system is 100% proprietary, and does not rely on any 3rd-party data or APIs.

We've tested them all, and found them to be wildly inaccurate - mainly due to their habit of blocking entire IP ranges when they identify a single "bad" IP address.

The only 3rd-party data we use at all is domain registration and IP allocation information from ICANN, ARIN and other official sources, to help identify ownership and relationships for and between various domains and IP addresses.


So how does the filtering system work?

Instead, our system was built entirely in-house, and it constantly monitors and analyzes the millions and millions of clicks that ClickMagick users get each month.

We have literally over a dozen monitoring systems that constantly analyze not only every detail of every click, but actual click and user "behavior" including sessions, conversions, and lots more we just can't talk about publicly because it would give the bad guys too much information.

Many "friendly" automated processes and bots properly identify themselves, but this allows us to catch all the rest - the malicious bots, content scrapers and other automated processes that try to disguise themselves as legitimate web browsers.

Between our automated monitoring systems, input from users like you, and lots of human oversight on our end, the filtering system actually gets "smarter" and more accurate each and every day.


Why would a residential IP be filtered as a bot?

If you see that an IP address from a residential ISP such as Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, etc. was filtered as a bot, it generally means one of two things:

1. The user is using software to generate fake clicks, or

2. Their computer is infected with some type of malware and is currently part of a large botnet.

If you want us to take a look at a particular filtered IP, please report it to us as outlined below.


What should I know about Google proxies and filtering?

A proxy acts as an intermediary for requests from web browsers, and Google has lots of proxies they use in conjunction with various Google services ...

... including but not limited to Data Compression for mobile Chrome users, Google website previews, Google Translate, and Google Mobilizer just to name a few.

Here's what you need to know about Google proxies and ClickMagick's filtering system ...

Any time an end-user's request is routed through Google's proxies for any reason, Google adds an "X-Forwarded-For" header to the HTTP request which contains the user's actual IP address.

This allows ClickMagick to grab the user's actual IP address and process the click correctly, even though the request came from one of Google's proxy servers.

On the other hand, if a Google proxy request does not contain a valid "X-Forwarded-For" header that means the request did not come from a real user, but rather it came from one of Google's many, many automated systems i.e. a "bot."

You can identify these requests in ClickMagick logs because the hostname for such a request will always start with "google-proxy."

If you want us to take a look at a particular filtered IP, please report it to us as outlined below.


Why can't I redirect filtered clicks somewhere else?

Some of our users who sell "solo ads" have asked us to add the ability to redirect filtered clicks to a separate URL, because they are generally obsessed with maximizing the value of every click.

While this is completely understandable, we have not and will not be adding the ability to redirect filtered clicks to a separate URL for 2 reasons:

Reason #1: Our filtering system is over 99.9% accurate. That means out of every 1,000 filtered clicks you'd be lucky to find 1 legitimate click that was filtered incorrectly.

There's no point in redirecting this traffic anywhere because you simply can't make money off of it.

Reason #2: Unfortunately, each and every day we see people mistakenly adding sales conversion tracking pixels to their opt-in and other inappropriate pages, resulting in incredibly inaccurate stats.

If we allowed users to redirect filtered clicks separately, this would result in some inattentive users seeing "sales" generated by "clicks" from bots and other automated processes due to sales tracking pixels being placed on publicly accessible pages and incorrect pages ...

... and this would result in massive amounts of confusion in the marketplace, "unsolvable" support tickets, and tons of wasted time that would do us all a lot more harm than good.


What's the difference between filtering and blocking?

We've noticed that some users get confused about the difference between filtering and blocking ...

When ClickMagick filters a click, the click is still processed and redirected normally - the difference is that the click does not count towards the official stats for the link or rotator it hit.

If you're a ClickMagick user, you can view your filtered clicks separately by clicking the number in the FC column for any link or rotator, and if you're not a ClickMagick user and you're looking at a "public stats" page, you can view filtered clicks by clicking the separate link for that.

Blocking on the other hand is just what it sounds like ...

If ClickMagick is instructed by the user to block a particular click, based on that users' settings, it will not be processed at all. Blocked clicks are NOT redirected (a generic error page is displayed instead), and there will be no indication that the blocked click was ever received anywhere in any stats.


How can I help make the filtering system better?

We do want your help in making ClickMagick's filtering system as accurate as possible ...

For every filtered click we provide as much info as possible including the IP address, hostname, operating system, browser, device type, exact timestamp and more. We encourage you to use this information to do your own research and investigation into filtered clicks if you're interested.

If you ever notice a click that you think was filtered incorrectly, please submit a support ticket or email support at clickmagick dot com with all the details and we will investigate it immediately.

We'll let you know what we find, and if it turns out that the click was indeed filtered incorrectly by ClickMagick we'll send you $50 via PayPal as a way of saying "thanks" for your help.


I hope this has been at least a little helpful, and I strongly recommend that you bookmark this page so you can refer back to it later and also so you can pass it on to others who might learn from it.

And if you have any comments or helpful information related to this topic that we can add to this page, please don't hesitate to email me directly. I'm patrick at clickmagick dot com.



Patrick Kelly & the ClickMagick Crew



"The easiest tool I've come across for both tracking ..."








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