Study: 60% of Web Visitors Are Bots

Could the majority of your website’s traffic be from automated bots? Most likely, according to new figures by Incapsula that shows about 61 percent of all traffic to websites comes from automated bots.

Only 38.5 percent of the traffic to web sites is from humans. The rest is thanks to non-human traffic, such as search engines, scrapers, hacking tools, spammers, and other impersonators, the study shows.

However, there are good bots and bad bots. About 30 percent of the traffic is from so-called “good bots”—search engines and cookies that claim to better users’ surfing experience, Forbes reports.

It’s the lurking visitors from “bad bots” that webmasters need to guard their sites against. Thirty-one percent of bots are malicious, the study found. For example, some bots are data scrapers that may steal your content and duplicate it on other sites. Others are spammers who have the potential to annoy your legitimate visitors with irrelevant content. Other bots include hackers who can inject malware onto your site and impersonators who can slow your site’s bandwidth.

The Incapsula report found that overall bot traffic was up 21 percent in the past year. The positive news? The number of “good bot” visits to sites is growing while “bad bot” activity is declining, particularly from those which specialize posting in spam comments.

Source: “Report: Bot Traffic Is Up 61.5% of All Website Traffic,” Incapsula (Dec. 9, 2013) and “Over 60% of All Website Visits Are Bot Traffic,” (Dec. 13, 2013)