7 December 2022 Fraud Prevention

What is bot traffic?


If you manage a website, you may have heard of “bot traffic” and wondered what it is. Bot traffic is generated by software programs that simulate human activity on a website. Some bots are designed to mimic real human behavior, while others are programmed to carry out specific tasks like crawling websites for data or generating fake views or clicks. While some bot traffic can be beneficial, such as when search engines index your content, too much bot traffic can skew your website’s analytics and cause problems. In this post, we’ll explain what bot traffic is and how to tell if you have too much of it.

Meaning of Bot Traffic and how it’s different from human traffic

Bot traffic, also known as botnets, are a form of computer automation created to generate web activity. Bot traffic is not generated by humans and instead functions autonomously thanks to certain programs and scripts. It’s different from human traffic in that it acts much faster and more precisely. For example, bots can enter data in the same format hundreds of times without any mistakes whereas humans may make typos or errors. Bots are also able to carry out repetitive tasks at a much faster rate than a human ever could, from entering form fields to surfing webpages, among other activities.

To make sure that only real people are interacting with websites or networks administrators have put security measures in place such as reCAPTCHA and CAPTCHA tests which work through sophisticated algorithms designed to detect non-human characters or activities. While bots on their own can cause damage when used for legitimate purposes like data entry or website optimization they can be extremely beneficial. In short, bot traffic is an automated source of web activity that uses computer scripts versus real people to accomplish various goals – both positive and negative – faster than humans could ever hope to do so on their own.​

Types of bots that exist and their purposes

Bots, or robots, come in many shapes and sizes with multiple purposes. Bots can be as simple as a robot vacuum cleaning your home, or as complex as an AI program diagnosing medical conditions. There are also many different forms of bots between those two extremes. Chatbots are programs that mimic human conversation and are used for customer service or gathering data from online surveys. Social media bots collect data or spread messages across the web. Collision avoidance bots help control the flow of traffic in warehouses to maximize efficiency and reduce collisions. Separately, there are crawler bots that crawl the internet to detect security vulnerabilities or malicious activity affecting web users.

Finally, virtual assistant bots that respond to verbal commands with programmed answers have become more popular recently as more people embrace smart home technology. All these bots have been instrumental in helping streamline tasks and boosting efficiency across various industries. However, with their increasing popularity and reliance comes greater security needs to protect users from any potential malicious uses of these programs.

Impact of bot traffic on website analytics

Website analytics can be used to measure the performance of a website and identify key patterns in user behavior. However, they are often impacted by bot traffic, which is automated computer scripts that mimic human activity such as browsing web pages. Bot traffic artificially inflates analytics data and can provide inaccurate information about website engagement. This can lead to misguided decisions being made based on faulty data, such as adjusting certain aspects of website design for the wrong audience or spending money on unnecessary advertising. Additionally, a large number of false page views generated by bots can slow down server response times and even deprive real users from accessing content due to server overload. As such, it is important to monitor and filter out bot traffic so that accurate analytics data can be collected and utilized for decision-making purposes.

Tips for identifying and filtering out bot traffic in your own data

Among the many challenges faced by online businesses today is the problem of bots skewing data. Identifying and filtering out bot traffic from your own data can be a difficult task, requiring expertise in analytics and a keen understanding of user behavior. To get started, business owners should look for patterns that suggest a script-driven interaction rather than a human one. This may include suspiciously high clickthrough rates or repetitive search phrases stemming from the same IP. It’s also important to track user sessions over time, as extended periods of continuous activity often indicate bots attempting to outwit logouts and other protections.

By taking these steps to identify bot traffic and filter it out of your digital data, you’ll ensure only accurate and high-quality information is being used in analysis and decision-making processes. ​​

Ways that bots impact your analytics

Any business owner who wants to make the most of their marketing budget must understand the impact that bots have on their analytics. One way this happens is by skewing the metrics associated with website visits and interactions. Since bots are automated programs made to mimic user behavior, it’s often difficult if not impossible to differentiate between a bot and a genuine user. As a result, businesses may spend marketing dollars without an accurate representation of whether or not any real people interacted with their content.

Additionally, it’s not just marketing budgets that are affected: sophisticated bots can retrieve information from webpages and significantly slow down page loading times, create false accounts on websites, and fill out surveys in the name of customers. All of these actions can have far-reaching effects on your analytics. The only way to offset any issues caused by bots is by constantly monitoring and auditing your data collection processes to ensure accuracy; this in turn can strengthen marketing initiatives and help you get more bang for your marketing buck. By being aware of bots in relation to your analytics, you can take steps that mitigate any underlying issues they may cause while improving the integrity of your reports at the same time.

So there you have it: everything you need to know about bot traffic, from what it is to how it affects your website analytics. Armed with this knowledge, you can now take steps to filter out bot traffic in your own data so that you can get a truer picture of your website’s performance. And if you want an easy way to identify and filter out bot traffic, be sure to check out our platform. We’ll make sure that your marketing spend is safe from bots!

facebook linkedin twitter search-icon