Nine Facts You Might Not Know About Bot Traffic

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 01-30-2015 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Bad Bots Are Rising
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    Bad Bots Are Rising

    The report’s data indicated malicious bots account for 29% of all Website visits. Of those: 22% are impersonators, 3.5% are hacking tools, 3% are scrapers, 0.5% are spammers
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    Size Doesn't Matter
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    Size Doesn't Matter

    Regardless of a site's size, one-third of its traffic is from bots. For most sites, bot traffic is between 63% and 80%. Small Sites (1,000 visitors per day): 80% percent bots, Medium Sites (10,000 visitors per day): 63% bots, Large Sites (100,000 visitors per day): 56% bots
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    Absolute Average of Daily Visitors Is Unclear
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    Absolute Average of Daily Visitors Is Unclear

    It's difficult to say what the absolute average number of daily visitors is, but most Websites get fewer than 10,000 visits per day.
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    Impersonator Bots Are the Only Ones to Grow
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    Impersonator Bots Are the Only Ones to Grow

    The most advanced malicious bots–impersonator bots–are increasing. They are the only group of bots that consistently grew in the last three years since the survey began.
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    Impersonator Bots Are Rising
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    Impersonator Bots Are Rising

    Impersonator bots' volume increased by 10% last year and by 15% since 2012. They are created by very experienced hackers and are designed increasingly for stealth.
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    Types of Impersonator Bots
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    Types of Impersonator Bots

    Impersonator bots include:, Fake search engine bots, Bots with browser-like capabilities, DDoS bots, Bots masked by proxy servers
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    RSS Bot Activity Declines
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    RSS Bot Activity Declines

    Most of the decline in bot traffic is due to good bot activity, especially those associated with RSS services. This was not due to the shutdown of Google Reader; RSS bot activity declined across the board.
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    Googlebots Do Not Play Favorites
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    Googlebots Do Not Play Favorites

    Googlebots crawl indiscriminately and with predetermined frequency regardless of a Website's popularity. Result: smaller Websites receive a disproportionate percent of bot visitors (80%) compared to human visitors.
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    Bots and Your Bottom Line
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    Bots and Your Bottom Line

    How are bots affecting bandwidth consumption and your bottom line? You can save money with better bot filtering practices in addition to better client site security.
 

Malicious impersonator bots are on the rise, one-third of all Websites are vulnerable to them, and RSS bots are going extinct, according to a new bot traffic report. The survey, "2014 Bot Traffic Report," is the third report conducted by security firm Incapsula. Its data is based on a sample of 15 billion human and bot visits occurring over a 90-day period in 2014. Its proprietary client-classification system collected information from 20,000 Websites in 249 countries. All Websites are on the company's network and all traffic flows through Incapsula-protected domains. Reversing the last two years' upward trend, this year's bot traffic volumes decreased to 56 percent of all Web visits. In 2013, bots accounted for 60 percent of all traffic. Bad bot traffic declined by 10 percent compared to last year. However, it accounted for 29 percent of all Website visits and threatened both big and small sites. Impersonator bots increased during the last three years but were the only type to grow consistently. Small sites (under 1,000 visits per day) received the most bot traffic.

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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