In the digital age, many things have become automated. As a result, the online world has created a monster, or in this case, robots. It’s ALIIIIIIVE!
In 2017, 52% of Internet traffic came from bots. Thankfully, in 2019, that number has fallen to 38%. While, human activity on the internet continues to rise, a good chunk of traffic is still coming from these bots…but what for? What is their purpose?
What Are Bots Doing on the Internet?
Internet robots are created with several different purposes, some for the greater good, some for neutral good, and some for chaotic evil.
Bots behave differently than humans when browsing the internet, and much of this can be determined by the cursor motions. While on a website, a bot will use a very linear path with their cursor, while a human will sweep theirs around much more organically. Bots will also most likely click the top of the page, before they make it far into the web page.
Some bots are designed to do simple tasks that can be redundant or mundane for a human user, like paging through websites comparing prices online on things such as plane tickets. Some may be created for more malicious intents, like posting spam comments, or overloading your website servers by creating a huge influx of robot traffic.
There is good news, though! One thing to keep in mind is the digital world is essentially the wild west. There has never been a world like this, we are pioneers exploring a new frontier, and the big corporations such as Google and Microsoft are working on filtering out the bot traffic and keeping the internet a place for human beings.
How Do I Know If Bots Are Affecting Me?
Website Bot Traffic
There are many steps you can take to ensure your website’s bot traffic is minimized! We have broken it down to make your website safer, and your digital campaigns much more successful at directing legitimate visitors to your website.
If your website allows comments, you may notice traces of spam bots in your comments section. Usually you can take care of this intrusion by simply deleting the comments you determine to be spam.
There are also many plugins if your website was made in WordPress that you can use to reduce the amount of bot traffic your website takes in. This is for developers that don’t mind taking a peek under the hood. Learn more about that here.
Digital Campaign Bot Traffic
If you’re running a digital campaign, you want to make sure the people interacting with your ads are just that. People. Not bots. So how do you know if bots are clicking your ads?
Bots tend to gravitate towards websites that no human wants to navigate due to the site’s cluttered layout, or simply its lack of information. To combat this, check your campaigns! There is a simple way to monitor how many bot clicks you are getting, and how many other illegitimate clicks you may also be getting. Dive into your campaigns and check out where your ads are being shown. Google gives you the actual URL of the websites your ads are appearing on, so you can visit these sites to see for yourself if they are legitimate. If there’s nothing on the page but ads, or if the content of the website simply doesn’t make sense, you can flip a switch to prevent your ads from appearing on this site.
If an ad agency is running your digital campaigns, then it is their responsibility to monitor and minimize the amount of bot traffic from your ads. At Hookd, we take extra care in making sure your ads are shown to people, and not bots. If your ads do end up receiving invalid clicks from bots, you are refunded for those clicks and your campaigns continue as if a bot never crossed paths with your ad.
If you have any questions about bot traffic, we’re here to help! Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help answer any questions you may have!