What Is Bot Traffic | Everything You Should Know

Bot traffic has become a headache for several organizations and companies regardless of the industry. Although bots have been in existence for quite some time, it has all become more sophisticated in recent years. Cybercriminals have also increased the use of this traffic in their efforts to scale their efforts. However, traffic bots is used for the right reasons. Keep on reading to discover everything you should know about bot traffic.

Understanding Bot Traffic

Bots, also known as robots, are automated computer programs developed to repeat a task automatically as a website visitor bot. Bot traffic refers to the non-human interaction of your website and systems. Cybercriminals use bots to complete tasks quickly and accurately. It has overtaken human traffic since 2016. Since then, bot traffic makes up more than half of all internet traffic.

what is bot traffic
what is bot traffic

Although bots were developed to complete simple tasks, modern bots are highly sophisticated and even have self-learning algorithms.
Managing bot traffic is challenging since there are good bots. Legitimate companies like Google and Microsoft own good bots for enhanced performance and security. Blocking such bots will not be ideal for your business. Another reason why it is becoming challenging to overwhelm bots is that they have become more like web bot hits.

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The Difference Between Good Bots and Bad Bots

Good bots do not pose any security threat and are managed by legitimate online browser service providers, including Microsoft and Google. On the other hand, bad bots are used by cybercriminals to conduct attacks, spread spam, and conduct fraud. The following are the most common good bots:

  • Search Engine crawlers from Bing, Yahoo, and Google.
  • SEO and backlink checkers from SEMrush, Moz, and other notable SEO experts.
  • Digital assistants like Alexa and Siri.
  • Aggregator feed bots like Feedly.

    good bots vs bad bots
    good bots vs bad bots

Now let us look at some of the common bad bots used by cybercriminals for malicious and illegal activities:

  • Fake account creators.
  • Website information scrapers.
  • Spambots.
  • Checkout bots.
  • Business logic abuse bots.

It is crucial to conduct a routine site audit to discover how bots interact with your website and application. Even though good bots are beneficial, increased bot traffic can have devastating effects on site and application performance. Moreover, too much traffic can harm the customer experience. This is not to mention that bad bots can bring down your online site and applications.

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Different Types of Bots

As mentioned earlier, bad bots can cripple your website and online applications by compromising operation and business logic. The best way to keep your site and applications free from bots is by maintaining an oversight. The following are the six types of bots you should watch out for:

Download Bots

Download bots will mess up your analytics by tampering with your user engagement data. These bots add a fake download count instead of a click count. For example, the bots will tamper with your conversion data where a document download is your end conversion.

Click Bots

Unlike download bots, click bots make illegitimate ad clicks. These bots are more threatening than other bots for web publishers.

types of bots
types of bots

Scrapper Bots

Cybercriminals send these bots to your website and application to steal your content. Third-parties employed by your competitors use these bots to steal your content, including prices, catalog, and prices. Your competitors will then use your content for their selfish gains.

Spam Bots

Spambots alter user engagement by distributing irrelevant comments, ads, phishing emails, and unusual website redirects. Your competitors can have these bots sent to your website to destroy your SEO strategy.

Imposter Bots

Imposter bots are disguised as genuine visitors to overcome all the security measures in place. These bots are responsible for service denial and the injection of spyware on your website and application. They appear as disguised as search engine crawlers.

malicious bots
malicious bots

Spy Bots

Cybercriminals use these bots to obtain business and individual data. Spy bots will steal essential information like email addresses, payment information from your online sites and applications. They are like website viewer bot.

Good Bots

Enhance performance by scrapping old data and maintaining content hygiene. Moreover, good boots are responsible for capturing data and checking backlinks. Social media companies also use good bots to improve the user experience. Search engine companies use bots to enhance the user experience by customizing data and providing helpful and relevant results.

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Tips for Identifying Bot Traffic

The secret to defeating bot traffic is to detect it early. Continue reading to discover helpful tips for identifying it before it is too late:

Check the Page Load Speed

One easy way of identifying bot traffic before it is too late is rechecking your page load speed. Although results look a tad different every time you conduct a page load speed, you should be alarmed if your page load speed decreases considerably.

check page loading speed
check page loading speed

However, it is wise to confirm that the considerable drop is not due to significant changes to your site. The chances are that you are dealing with bot traffic if your site and application have not experienced any change. PageSpeed Insights is a good webpage speed checker by Google Developers.

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Check Your Site’s Traffic Count and Bounce Rate

High traffic counts refer to a large number of bots visiting your online site and application repeatedly. The chances are that your site is experiencing bot traffic if your traffic count suddenly increases.

check views and bounce rate
check views and bounce rate

On the other hand, bounce rate refers to the amount of irrelevant non-human traffic your site receives. Increased bounce rate points to bot traffic.

Confirm Traffic Sources and IP Address

You can use various tools to verify data sources and IP addresses. Make sure to block the offending sources and IP addresses. Google Analytics is one of the tools you can use.

Check for Duplicate Content

Testing for content duplication is another easy and effective way of reducing bot traffic.

check duplicate content
check duplicate content

You can use various tools to check for duplicate content. For example the Dupli Checker is an effiecient SEO tool.

How to Stop Bot Traffic

Let us look at some of the steps you can follow to stop bot traffic and improve user engagement and experience:

  • Put contextual JavaScript in place for timely alerts.
  • Take advantage of Executive distributed denial of service to the offending data sources and find IP address.
  • Use CAPTCHA on your conversion pages to keep download and spambots away.
set up a captcha
set up a captcha
  • Check server errors to identify and fix errors caused by website traffic bots.
  • Use good bots to keep bad bots away from your site and application.
  • Practice traffic arbitrage.

See Also: Top 6 Kickass Ways to Block Websites on Google Chrome

Conclusion

Managing bots is no longer a luxury. Every business should adopt effective bot management solutions to overcome malicious bots. Effective bot management enhances the performance of good bots while improving user engagement and experience. Thus one must be careful handling this kind of traffic.

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