If you are a website owner, I’m sure you have gone through this situation, looking at your web traffic report from your favorite analytic tool:
“Yay! We’ve received 100,000 visits in the last 30 days – Woot! High five!”
“But wait – why on earth so many visits only last less than 10 seconds? Why are people are just visiting our site and run away? What’s so turn off with our site?”
Sounds dramatic and fictional, right? Well, not quite. If you asked website owners who are also stat junkies, you’d learn that the above is a typical conversation.
Welcome to the world of bot traffic.
Simply put, bot traffic is the web traffic that is coming from bots. Bots refer to scripts to do things by visiting your site.
Search engine bots visit your site and check whether your site is regularly updated. They also check whether there are changes to your site and some other things, report back and reflect what they find in your search engine indexing and ranking.
RSS bots, similarly, visit your web pages and fetch the details to display in your website’s RSS feed.
Those two are good bots. But still, they don’t add value to your site for one reason: They are not real visitors who read/watch/listen/use what you have on offer in your website.
Also enter the bad bots. DDoS bots (the scary ones.) Hacking bots (also the scary one,) Scraping bots (“gee, why are there 10 other sites posting similar blog posts like what we have on site?”) Spamming bots (remember those 100+ emails offering what-not in your email inbox?)
Clearly bad bots don’t add value to your site (duh!)
To make matter worse, bot traffic is the majority of your web traffic total. The smaller your site, the bigger is the percentage. Why? Because bots don’t care whether you are a small or big website – they gotta do their business regardless.
That’s why on a low-trafficked site (less than 1,000 visits/day) you’ll see 80 percent of your traffic is bot traffic.
In total? Bot traffic accounts for 56 percent of total web traffic worldwide in 2014. Seriously, this is quite shocking and disturbing.
Incapsula, one of the leading web security services and optimizers published a report reflecting the above findings in an infographic – check this out:
As you can see, the future trends are not too bright: Bad bots – in the form of impersonator bots – are rising in impact on a year-on-year basis. Worrying? Yes. Hopeless? No.
What you need to do is to use reliable web security tools and services that will ensure that you are less-exposed to the risks presented by the baddies.
So, make web security your focus in the upcoming year, will ya?