I'm curious -- when you say you were experiencing 500 clicks per day, was that 500 more than what you got before this experiment? Did you exclude the bot clicks from the 500 per day total? And did those 500 clicks convert at the same rate (or better) than the traffic you normally were getting before?
Oh, and when you checked your rankings, you were using anonymized results to minimize the effects of personalization, right?
Just want to make sure I'm clear on the results.
If Google were going to use CTR as a ranking factor (which I doubt they do, but if
they were) they'd be smart enough to know how easy it is to fake, and they'd take some behind-the-scenes steps to detect and discount (or even penalize) fake clicks. So it's likely the bot wouldn't have helped.
See, if you think CTR is a significant ranking factor, you have to consider that Google will not treat lightly attempts to fake it. There have been plenty of instances where people have gotten away with something for a while, only to have their sites slapped down hard
by Google once the Big G decides they've had enough, or think they've figured out well enough how to detect and counteract the fakery. So if you think CTR is significant, using a bot to fake it is a high-risk
Not saying it totally couldn't work, just not in the long term. Not for somebody who's using their website to promote a real, long-term business and doesn't look to churn and burn. (Assuming it has any effect on rankings in the first place, of course.)
If, on the other hand, you think it's just a coincidence (they do happen) and CTR isn't
a strong ranking factor, then using a bot to boost CTR is just a waste of time.
People sometimes forget that the folks at Google are smarter than the average bear, and they guard the sanctity of their SERPs with a fierceness. They're not going to use something they know is easily faked as a significant ranking factor, especially if they can't just as easily weed out the fakes.
Which is why I doubt that CTR is a strong factor. (Actually, I seriously doubt that it's a factor at all, but I'm trying to keep an open mind here.
Just because two things happened at the same time, I'd be wary of concluding one caused