Websites and apps receive two types of traffic requests: those from humans and those from bots. Bots are automatic processes that interact with websites, apps, and APIs. Good bots perform tasks and add value to a user’s experience, like a chatbot that asks if you need help when viewing a product on a business’s website. Here’s what you need to know about bad bots:

Bad Bots

  • Spambots: We’ve all been victims of spam, and the culprit behind it is spambots. Spambots can create fake accounts, send unsolicited messages to many recipients at once, leave fake comments on websites, and hack other computers and servers by inundating them with a sudden increase of traffic at once, like a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.
  • Click fraud bots: If you’ve ever had to prove you were a human before being allowed to log into one of your accounts, the reason is because of click fraud. Click fraud bots pretend to be typical website visitors authentically clicking on an ad, generating revenue or traffic to another website.
  • Content scraping bots: While good bots index website content for search engines, content scraping bots crawl websites, stealing content and republishing it, sometimes even mirroring an entire website.
  • Credential stuffing bots: When a website or company experiences a data breach, usernames and passwords are collected. Credential stuffing bots take that stolen information and brute force their way into user accounts.

Identifying Bot Traffic

As our technological world becomes more sophisticated, unwanted bot traffic does the same, making it more difficult than ever to identify and stop. Malicious bot traffic doesn’t just pose a cyber security risk. Bad bots on your website can lead to poor performance, slowing your website down and deterring visitors from returning.

Good bot detection can protect websites, apps, and businesses against online security threats and poor performance. Some signs that indicate you may have malicious bot activity is:

  • Abnormally high page views: If you keep an eye on your website’s monthly traffic, you should have a pretty good idea of what your average monthly pageviews are. At the very least, you know what to expect. So, if you’re suddenly getting abnormally high pageviews, that’s a good indication that you have some malicious bot traffic.
  • High bounce rate: A website’s bounce rate is the number of people visiting a single page and leaving without clicking over to another page. A higher-than-normal bounce rate could signify bad bot activity.
  • Junk conversions: If you have a contact form on your website, there’s a good chance you’ve come across phony signups. If you’ve looked at the recent signups on your forms only to see random strings of letters and numbers, fake names, and gibberish, you’ve experienced junk conversions.

How to Stop Malicious Bot Traffic

As discussed above, bad bots can negatively impact your website, business, or app’s performance and analytics. Malicious bot traffic makes up nearly 40 percent of all web traffic. According to new research from Fraudlogix, bots and ad fraud make up almost 16% of ad impressions globally.

The first step in managing bot traffic is configuring a robots.txt file laying out the rules of the land for bot traffic. These rules include which pages of your website are accessible, which can be indexed, and what links to follow. But a text file can only be so effective, and malicious bot traffic doesn’t play by the rules. Another simple solution to malicious bot traffic is Captcha technology, requiring someone to prove they’re a human (and not a bot) when attempting to submit a form.

For comprehensive fraud solutions, try bot fraud prevention experts. Bot traffic can hurt your website performance, which negatively impacts your business. Fraudlogix works with advertisers, DSPs, Networks, Exchanges, and SSPs to develop comprehensive solutions to bot traffic.

Not knowing if the traffic you see on your website, app, or API is human, or bot can lead marketers in the wrong direction, even negatively impacting your business. Fraudlogix has provided bot vendor solutions to some of the largest platforms in AdTech & MarTech and is standing by, ready to help your company gain visibility and improve performance. Get started today!