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,” Forbes.com (Dec. 13, 2013)

Home Mortgage “Scams Rise on Search Engines”

Federal investigators are investigating the Google, Bing, and Yahoo! search engines in a hunt to find con artists who are using the sites to dupe troubled home owners.

The online ads posted by scammers promise to help save home owners from foreclosure. The ads claim they’ll help home owners through a government-backed program by modifying their mortgage payments so they can keep their home. The deceptive ads often target victims when searches for phrases like “stop foreclosure” are made. 

As part of the scam, con artists will ask for “upfront fees” or ask that mortgage payments be sent to them. Hopefully, most folks in the Placerville, El Dorado County regions are aware these practices are illegal in California. If not, contact us for more information.

Investigators have already uncovered 125 mortgage scams through the search engines as of Monday, according to the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. 

Meanwhile, the three search engines say they will no longer accept ads from Internet agencies linked to such scams. 

Source: “Feds Widen Inquiry of Online Mortgage Scams,” The Associated Press (11/22/11)