Over 60% of Website Visits from Bot Traffic in 2013

This is a surprising figure, to say the least: apparently, approximately 61.5% of all website visits in 2013 actually consisted of automated bot activity, according to bottrafficfigures calculated by Incapsula. The graphic explaining the calculation can be found to the side.

Under 40% of traffic to and from websites are actually people viewing whatever page is being viewed. Approximately 30% of website traffic is generated by “good bots”, which are making our website visits better, assuming that things like cookies and web tracking are actually “good bots”, insofar as them satisfying the claim that they improve our web surfing experience.

In comparing the data figures from last year’s survey, the largest growth in bot traffic has been generated by these so-called “good bots”. There’s additionally been a significant decline in certain types of “bad bot” traffic, specifically, the automated spam comment ones. We all know that they’re still around, however, there are far less of them now. This is due to Google changing the incentives to use this publicity format:

“While the relative percentage of malicious bots remains unchanged, there is a noticeable reduction in Spam Bot activity, which decreased from 2% in 2012 to 0.5% in 2013. The most plausible explanation for this steep decrease is Google’s anti-spam campaign, which includes the recent Penguin 2.0 and 2.1 updates.

SEO link building was always a major motivation for automated link spamming. With its latest Penguin updates Google managed to increase the perceivable risk for comment spamming SEO techniques, while also driving down their actual effectiveness.

Based on our figures, it looks like Google was able to discourage link spamming practices, causing a 75% decrease in automated link spamming activity.”

This is a good way of dealing with a long-living problem that nobody likes: change the incentives to do something, and you’ll change the number of people who try and do that thing. As a result of the Google change, amusingly, those who benefitted from bot comments from webpages are now suffering the much increased consequences of benefitting from bot commenting and bot traffic, are now begging for that type of traffic to be removed from their webpages.

from Media, Tech, and Telecommunications Page http://gamaalwilson.org/2013/12/13/over-60-of-website-visits-from-bot-traffic-in-2013/

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