After few of our customers complaint about Bing PPC bot invalidating their pageviews and keep visiting their websites, we have started to find a way to block this. It messed up their analytics data by generating fake pageviews that look like a real user.
We had setup a monitor to identify pattern of this visitor in your analytics and we needed some time until we can acquire sufficient amount of data to analyze this.
They come randomly and at different IP addresses so we could not simply block IP addresses, however all of those IP addresses origin were from Microsoft Azure servers which allows us to backtrace and identify them this way. We have used data set from our database using Hitsteps too and we identified Microsoft Azure hits to be bot, and in Hitsteps, we only count real human visits. We have forbidden our tracker to track Microsoft Azure from now on, and it should not re-appear in your list of visitors anymore.
Interestingly, Microsoft use real world browser useragents which belong to his competitors. We identified useragents that belong to Safari 53 on Windows 7. Safari 7 on iOS 7 and Firefox 23 on Windows 8! We could not simply block it from user-agents due to variety.
As a reddit user put it out this way, During the editorial verification process in Bing Ads, your site may receive traffic from the Bing Ads crawler, which shows as Microsoft Azure. This crawler searches and determines the content of your website by following all of the links and branches throughout your site and pulling relevant keywords from the pages. The depth and frequency of the crawl is related to the number of ads and keywords in your ad groups. The Bing Ads crawler visits sites that it is checking in a very controlled manner. This activity should not affect servers or cause “inaccessible website” errors. (They represent a real browser, therefor made it hard for us to differentiate them from a bot at beginning.)
Bing Ads crawls your site(s) by using the destination URLs that you specify for each keyword-ad combination in your ad group. If you have large keyword lists, your destination URLs may receive hundred of clicks or more. Because this traffic can occur during a very short time, sometimes within only one or two hours, this activity may appear to be invalid activity.
Note that you are not charged by Bing Ads for this traffic, and this activity is not reported on any Bing Ads reports.
This behaviour now can be detected by Hitsteps Analytics and blocked from our users view unless they disable bot protection in their analytics setting.