Suspicious Domain Data at Auction

A few years ago before I really started domaining, I participated in a handful of auctions at GoDaddy based solely on traffic data and revenue. I very shortly found out that the numbers were mostly fake. Back then I didn’t really even know the difference between an expiring auction and non-expiring auction, so I can’t really say if it was an individual deliberately trying to fix his/her auction stats or if it was just garbage traffic (obviously 9/10 after I received ownership of the domain the traffic dropped off a cliff).

Anyhow, now that I’m more aware of what is going on I notice some questionable metrics/patterns from time to time. Given the issues with NameJet last week I think it’s not a bad idea to share these suspicions to know whether it’s unmerited paranoia … or something worth investigating further.

Over the last several weeks and even months, I’ve noticed an unnaturally high proportion of older .com domains (10+ years) that include the word “London” to have a traffic of exactly 30 (occasionally a small amount scattered in with the 30’s will have exactly double at 60). It just seems way too unnatural for me to believe.

They are mostly expiring domains it seems, so my only guess is maybe these were formerly held by someone who actually did create fake traffic for some reason (either to inflate data for resell, or to scam cash parking). Most of them seem to actually sell (not sure if at auction or closeout).

Does anyone know what to think? Am I wrong to feel something is out of place? I took a couple of screenshots to show what I mean. First 2 screen grabs are from about 3 weeks ago .. the last one I took just now. It’s an ongoing pattern I’ve noticed for a while, certainly not at all limited to just the 2 periods in time I captured. Mostly, but not exclusively, the “London” is at the start of the domain.

On a related note .. One of my biggest pet peeves with GoDaddy is that at auction they hide the fact a domain is blacklisted from their aftermarket parking because of known fraudulent activity .. but then the moment you apply they instantly seem to have that fact on hand. I always thought of this as being the same as with latent/hidden defects in real estate transactions.

gd-london-30.GIF

gd-london-30-2.GIF

Today:
gd-london-30-3.GIF

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