Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Half of Website Visits are Driven by Bots

Nearly half of website visits monitored by Imperva Incapsula were by bots, not humans, Imperva Incapsula says. More prominent mobile bot activity is the result of a larger trend toward mobile browsing. Since November 2016 mobile traffic has been greater than desktop traffic, reaching 50.31 percent of total.

“In 2016 we tracked 504 unique good bots, 278 of which were active enough to generate at least 1,000 daily visits to our network,” the company says.

The relative amount of bad bot visits (and bot visits in general) is higher to less trafficked websites. For instance, on the least trafficked domains—those frequented by ten human visitors a day or less—bad bots accounted for 47.7 percent of visits while total bot traffic amounted to 93.3 percent.

Good bots fall into several buckets.
  • Feed fetcher – Bots that ferry website content to mobile and web applications, which they then display to users.
  • Search engine bots – Bots that collect information for search engine algorithms, which is then used to make ranking decisions.
  • Commercial crawlers – Spiders used for authorized data extractions, usually on behalf of digital marketing tools.
  • Monitoring bots – Bots that monitor website availability and the proper functioning of various online features.

The most active feed fetcher—and the most active bot in general—was that associated with Facebook’s mobile app. It fetches website information so it can be viewed in the in-app browser. Overall it accounted for 4.4 percent of all website traffic on Incapsula network.

Bots vs Humans 2016

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