When AVG acquired Exploit Prevention Labs it also got its hands on a malware scanning tool called LinkScanner. This quite cleverly pre-scans your search engine results before you start link-clicking to filter out malicious hits.
Unfortunately, rather stupidly, AVG bundled this into its 20 million user AVG 8 security suite. I say stupidly because while the theory is a good one, the practise is the polar opposite. LinkScanner tries to disguise itself as a human being and not a machine. AVG ended up spewing fake traffic across the web at an incredible rate.
So what web masters the world over thought was a spike in visitors, all using IE6 funnily enough because that was the fancy dress the traffic chose to wear, was actually nothing more than bot rot.
Beyond the simple screwing up of traffic logs, many web master started to complain quite loudly that they were being forced to pay extra fees thanks to the increased bandwidth but without any actual real world benefit in increased visitors. Hardly surprising when you do the math: 20 million users, and every Google search kicks off a scan of every page returned on the results page, and every scan results in fake traffic.
So what's being done to fix the chaos? Read on to find out...