You might assume that all web traffic is generated by actual people browsing the internet, but actually you would be wrong. In fact, statistically the human race is now a minority on the internet. Does this mean your pets are browsing the internet while you’re asleep? No! What it does mean is that now a days, bots are generating more internet traffic than humans.
Many people assume that bots are only around for negative reasons and get worried when they realise that over 60% of traffic online is created by bots. It is important to realise that online bots exist for all sorts of reasons – for search engine crawling for example.
The Incapsula Report
Incapsula is a company that helps websites manage their traffic and security. They spent a number of months in 2013 analysing activity across a number of its websites. This showed that less than 40% of all traffic to these sites was human. It can only be assumed that this trend is one that is continued across the rest of the internet – but is this a bad thing? Incapsula think not!
Report author, Igal Zeifman said that while the number of bots is up from last year, it’s not all spammers and hackers. “The bulk of that growth is attributed to increased visits by good bots,” he said. Bingbot and Googlebot are both good bots that help the search engines find new sites.
This means that search engines are effectively working harder than ever to make sure that they’re indexing new websites and ensuring websites are listed as they should be.
The likes of Google are always changing algorithms and adjusting how their search engines rank websites, because they want to give users the best experience possible. Bots scan the internet regularly to make sure that the websites they are listing are up to date and accurate. However, not all bots are working for good reasons.
The Report’s Findings
As part of the report Incapsula looked at nearly 1.5 billion bot visits. To get a fair analysis they spread this out across 20,000 websites in 249 countries. Marc Gaffan (co-founder of Incapsula) told ABC News “It’s a good representation of what’s going on out there [in the Internet]. It ranges [in size] from tiny personal sites to large healthcare, financial, and retail sites.”
The good news is that the number of spam bots has decreased since 2012 – and they now account for less than 1 percent of internet activity. It is thought that this is down to recent Google algorithm changes, as the search engine has done quite a lot to reduce spam and discourage link spamming tactics.
Websites Don’t Realise The Danger
The number of bots dedicated to spamming might have been reduced, but that doesn’t mean that these hits are risk free. With over 60% of all internet traffic coming from bots, you really need to be aware of what they are and the risk they have to your site. According to the report, one in 20 visitors is a hacking tool and 1 in 5 of all websites hits is some sort of impersonator. That is something that you do need to be aware of.
According to the six sigma there are bots that are pretending to be from well-known places so that they can gain your trust. Thewire publish article claiming that 51 percent of the total traffic are bots. You need to be aware of these, so that when you are looking at traffic to your website you get an accurate reading & you really know how well your marketing methods are working. By counting hits from bots you’re not getting a reading as accurate as it could be.
Whether these hits are good or bad, it is quite something to realise that just 40% of all internet traffic is genuine, human traffic.What is perhaps even more alarming is that the statistic has risen from previous years and could possibly continue to rise. If it does then we could see ourselves in an online world where human traffic makes up just a tiny percentage of all online traffic and what that could mean is anyone’s guess. It is something that we’ll just have to wait and see – but it could certainly have very interesting consequences.