First of all, we need to clarify what fake traffic is. It comes in numerous forms:
1. Traffic Exchanges
You can go to sites such as hitleap.com, you’ll earn/buy credits, then people will get sent to your website for a certain amount of time, in return they’ll receive credits and everyone will get more traffic through this.
2. Bot Traffic
This is normally combined with referral spam however can also be done through fake urls. Such as domain.com/look-at-this-cool-product to get you to try and drive traffic.
3. Referral Spam
As above with bot traffic, they use scripts to fake visitors through certain urls, such a get-this-product.com, you’ll visit the site to see how they’re linking to you and the hope is that you will purchase their product/service.
Does fake traffic have any SEO benefit?
No. In fact I would say it actually hinders you, it prevents you from knowing the true analytics of your site, it impacts bounce rate/time on page. There is no reason to be sending a fake viewer to your site for the purpose of trying to rank better.
Does fake traffic have any benefit at all?
Yes, personally I use some traffic exchanges/services like adfly when I want to load test a site/feature. This has a benefit because it’s real traffic visiting from all around the world, and best of all it’s cheap/free depending on how you get your traffic. With a professional service, you can have real, targeted views.
What are the downsides of fake traffic?
Despite the fake analytics, depending on the amount of fake traffic driven, you may also incur some extra hosting costs.