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Have Bots Taken Over The Internet?

have_bots_taken_over_the_internetWhat percentage of total internet traffic would you estimate that bots (non-human visitors) account for? Twenty percent? Thirty percent? Unfortunately, according to data released by DeviceAtlas, a company that makes software to detect the kinds of devices web visitors are using, reveals that non-human sources account for a staggering 48% of all web traffic. This includes legitimate search-engine crawlers along with hacker-generated bots designed for various purposes.

It has long been known that bots accounted for a significant percentage of total internet traffic, but until recently, we haven’t had the tools to get a precise read on just how much they account for. The belief has always been that ‘bot traffic amounted to low-level background noise on the net, making the new finding disturbing to say the least.

The problem for you, a business owner, is that it’s likely costing you more than you realize. Consider that if you’re paying for advertising based on per click, or per impression, then the number of clicks and impressions generated by bots are inflating your ad spend by nearly 50%. This underscores the importance of carefully examining your analytics so you can determine which of your clicks are being generated by actual humans who might buy your product versus bots who are simply driving your costs up.

It’s a tricky problem, because hackers go to great lengths to try and make their bot behavior emulate human behavior. Worse, with so much bot traffic on the net, your server load increases, making page load times slow to a crawl for human visitors.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to minimize the impact of bots on your bottom line. Several companies make tools that can help identify non-human visitors. This, combined with a filter to restrict non-human traffic can save you a surprising amount of money, and enhance the user experience for visitors to your company’s website.

If you’re not sure where to begin in terms of tackling this problem, contact us today, and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.

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