The Bunny Mafia and the Click Bots are after me!

I never meant to get mixed up with the mob. I know, all the molls say that. But in my case it’s true. All I did was sign up a few of my videos with Youtube’s Promoted Videos advertising program. And with that, I unwittingly stepped into the crosshairs of what I suspect is a bold international band of bot thugs out to protect their corner on the bedtime story market.


The Bunny Mafia: photo by TPJerematic on deviantart.net

Despite my name, I’m really much more of a honey badger than a sweetie pie, especially if provoked.  And that Bunny Mafia definitely provoked me when it tried to hijack my Peter Cottontail video. I confess I don’t have the whole story yet, but I have my agents out in the field who intend to get to the bottom of this rabbit-hole. Here’s what we know so far.

On May 19, I launched my Youtube ad campaign. Several days later my Peter Cottontail video skyrocketed  from obscurity to over 1,000 views. In a couple more days, it was up to 2,000. Then 3,000, and now more than 4,000 views. I had to ask myself: where is my fan base? Who is hopelessly addicted to Peter Cottontail? Well, I dipped into my Google Analytics and Youtube Insight spreadsheets and charts, and guess what? Peter Cottontail is enormously popular in Macedonia, Georgia, Romania, and Vietnam!

Now I suppose it’s possible that Georgian and Macedonian toddlers will not eat their dinner unless they are allowed to watch my Peter Cottontail video sung by Rosemary Clooney. Or there might be enterprising English classes in Vietnam in which the students are all watching Peter Cottontail so that they can converse on the Bunny Trail when they visit the United States.

But barring these scenarios, what’s left is the sinister implication that the organized bedtime story crime syndicate, aka the Bunny Mafia, is out to get me. To protect their stranglehold on the children’s bedtime story market on Youtube, these gangsters want to stop Peter Cottontail reaching an audience. So the mob took out a contract with the well-known Click Bot gang who spend their days clicking Promoted Video ads – including Peter Cottontail! Why? Just to quickly exhaust my promotional budget for the day long before any of Peter’s real fans get to see the video, tell their friends, and help develop an audience that would seriously challenge the cartel videos.

Before you dismiss the click-bot conspiracy theory as the nightmare fantasy of an exhausted video producer, try searching for “click fraud,” or just click here to read Wikipedia’s account of exactly this evil cyber plot. Or watch any of the hundreds of videos on youtube like this one on the care and feeding of your very own click bot. Btw, this is a great video with a really sick beat. (Note from Bay’s webmaster: The practice described in this video is highly illegal, a felony in many jurisdictions, and you didn’t hear about it from Sweet Bay.)

Now listen up, because the Bunny Mafia’s plan gets even more insidious. As soon as I paused the ad campaign for just one day, Peter Cottontail’s views stopped abruptly. No ads, no clicks. The Bunny Mafia was making it clear: your only fan base is us; we’ve kept everyone else away. Lose us, lose your views.

Earlier, Google Analytics had advised me that 98% of my new views were from advertising clicks. This meant that virtually everyone who was watching Peter Cottontail was clicking an ad, and, well . . . that’s when my warning sensors starting flashing. I know people well enough to know that they don’t really click ads much. At least not that much. But bots do. Bots click ads incessantly. I did an internship in the ad business, and the rule of thumb was 1 in a 100 was a good response rate. Never 98 in 100. That’s just weird . . . and suspicious.

I am convinced that the Bunny Mafia intends to keep its stranglehold on the front page of youtube’s bedtime story search… whatever it takes. So I’ve brought my Google Analytics and Youtube Insight guns out blazing.

To be continued . . .

In Part 2 of this post, I’ll tell you exactly what I’m doing to thwart this evil plot against Peter Cottontail.

The Bunny Mafia can hop, but it can’t hide.

P.S. If I really do have viewers in Georgia, Macedonia, Romania, and Vietnam, please leave a comment so that I know. I would love to hear from you.

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