AVG Burning Bandwidth and Wrecking Web Stats

Grisoft, the makers of AVG, are being accused of wasting users' bandwidth and "destroying Web analytics as we know it". Grisoft's AVG - the anti-virus software used on 70 million PCs - recently added a new component, LinkScanner, which examines the Web sites you visit for potential threats. But LinkScanner also checks the sites that you MIGHT visit. For example, it follows all the links that appear when you search for something on Google, or any of the other search engines, whether you click on them or not. One AVG user said "I have Google set to display 100 hits per page. In the process of scanning links, Linkscanner downloaded over 900 MegaBytes of data in one day".

This also leads on to a big problem for webmasters, who have to deal with robot traffic and other rogue visits all the time. But this is a little different. In an effort to fool even the sneakiest malware exploits, LinkScanner does its best to imitate real user clicks - which means most webmasters are completely unaware of the problem.

The Register has the full story: AVG scanner blasts internet with fake traffic.

7 July 2008 Update AVG's LinkScanner will no longer be pre-scanning web pages that are linked to from a page the visitor is currently viewing.


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