The internet has become a crucial part of our daily lives. We are now using it to keep tabs on our loved ones worldwide, watch the news, study, and date, buy products and services, and much more. Studies have shown that more than 50% of the entire world population is connected to the internet.
With the demand for internet services increasing tremendously over the last couple of years, cybercriminals have now adopted their strategies using bots and other advanced techniques to launch attacks. These criminals are now using malicious bots to launch brute force attacks and conduct other illegal activities.
Bot traffic makes up more than half of all cybersecurity threats. That is why it is vital to equip yourself with the right tools and knowledge to tackle malicious bot traffic. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about stopping bot traffic.
1. What exactly is Bot Traffic?
Before we begin, it is crucial to understand what bot traffic is all about. To put things into perspective, bot traffic refers to traffic that originates from automated programs or software.
Bots are designed to perform simple and repetitive tasks. They perform these tasks much quicker than humans. Bots are also more accurate than humans and work around the clock.
Web traffic accounts for more than half of the total website traffic. However, not all bots are bad. Some bots are used to conduct practical tasks. Even so, cybercriminals use malicious bots to launch brute force attacks, credential stuffing, and performing unauthorized financial transactions. Bad bots can perform a range of illegal tasks, including scrapping, identity theft, and scalping.
It is important to note that these bots do not have to conduct an unauthorized activity to harm your company’s reputation and ruin your website’s functionality and usability.
The mere presence of malicious bots on your website is enough to stretch your website and destroy its functionality and usability. These bots can even make your website unavailable for real human visitors.
Learning how to stop malicious bot traffic is crucial for any business that seeks to gain a competitive edge over the competition.
2. What are the Different Types of Bots?
Bots can be used for both good reasons and malicious reasons. Good bots are used by companies to improve website performance, while bad bots are used to conduct illegal activities. Let’s discuss the three types of bots below:
a. Good Bots
As you manage bot traffic, it is essential to note that good bots are beneficial to you and your visitors. These bots improve user experience and website functionality. Let us look at some examples of good bots below:
b. Search Engine Bots
Search engine bots play a vital role. Also known as crawler bots, search engine bots crawl the entire website to find relevant content to search for information. These bots are owned and operated by search engines such as Yahoo, Bing, Yandex, Google, and Baidu.
Website owners should maintain optimal website performance for these bots because they will give you more exposure to potential clients.
c. Vendor Bots
Also known as partner bots, vendor bots are owned and operated by third-party service providers. Some good examples of these bots would be bots used by various SEO tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs.
SEO companies use these bots to crawl websites to gauge website traffic, SEO performance, link volume, and website traffic. Similar to search engine bots, vendor bots also offer valuable services. That is why you should optimize your website to improve the performance of these bots.
d. Commercial Bots
Although these bots are owned and operated by legitimate companies, they might not add any value to your website. Commercial bots can strain your website’s resources and performance. Commercial bots are used to crawl and exploit digital content.
An excellent example of such a bot would be aggregator bots used to search for relevant content posted on the aggregators’ site. Aggregator bots can help your website by widening the reach. However, it would help to choose the best aggregator bots.
Price comparison bots also fall under this category. Although similar to aggregator bots, price comparison bots crawl websites for prices. You can use these bots for marketing your offers to clients.
e. Copyright Bots
The last bots on our list today are copyright bots. These bots can be used to crawl websites to ensure no one uses your content without your permission.
f. Bad Bots
As the name suggests, bad bots are used to conduct illegal activities. These bots do not follow the typical robots. Texts rules and hide their source and identity. In most cases, bad bots behave like normal human beings. Below are some examples of bad bots:
g. Scraping Bots
These bots crawl your website and steal your content without permission. This can lead to copyright issues. They are also used to steal pricing information. Scrapping bots are popular among businesses that focus on the price.
h. Credential Stuffing Bots
These bots obtain user information and then use it on various sites to access user accounts. Credential stuffing attacks are usually successful since most people use the same credential to log in to multiple locations.
i. Spam Bots
Spambots send fake messages mainly through emails to trick users into clicking fraudulent links that lead them to fake websites.
3. How to Identify Malicious Bot Traffic?
Identifying bot traffic early on is the best way of dealing with malicious bots. Discover the signs of malicious bot traffic below:
- Slow page load speed.
- A sudden increase in website traffic and bounce rate.
- Suspicious dips in bounce rates.
- Reduced SERP ranking.
- Increased customer complaints.
4. How to Stop Bot Traffic
If you have noticed these signs, it would be best to invest in an effective bot traffic management strategy. Effective bot management hinders the performance of bad bots and enhances the performance of good bots. Advanced bot management solutions use machine learning and AI to identify even the most advanced bad bots.
These bot solutions also introduce CAPTCHA and Web Application Firewall to stop malicious bots. They also use effective IP-based management and include stringent access controls.
Malicious bot traffic can harm your site’s functionality and usability. This is why it is essential to invest in an efficient bot management solution to stop bad bots while enhancing the performance of good bots.
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