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I own a url shortening service. I want to deliver only legitimate statistics to my clients. There are possible scenarios that a particular user writes a script to automatically open the shortened URL, thus making the statistics look bad. What are the approaches one can follow to detect if a click is legitimate or not? Please point me to appropriate resources like tools or research papers. The very basic approach that I can think of is to monitor the IP address of the user and block if the number of requests exceed a threshold.

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This is not as easy as it sounds because typically when collecting statsitics on clicks, you will measure how many clicks there were vs successful conversions/transactions of whatever kind. So if you send the campaign to 100K people, and you receive 10k clicks, then 5k successful transactions then the click rate is 10%, success rate is 5%, and the percent of successes relative to total who viewed the link is 50%. So yes, one way to filter the stats is to not count a click it multiple clicks are coming from the same person repeatedly. You could filter based on IP. I thought one of the points of bitly links was to simply give each of your users their own link so that you could eliminate this problem.

You could also use time windows and ips, as it is possible that different people might have the same ip.

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