Most online businesses rely on Google Analytics or other web analytics tools to monitor their campaigns. They believe that ad platforms monitoring bot traffic for them will be enough.
But is it?
For the most part, bots and spiders are relatively harmless. Some bots are not only good but also essential for useful services such as search engines and digital assistants (e.g. Siri, Alexa). Most companies welcome these sorts of bots on their sites.
Other bots can be malicious, for example, those used for the purposes of data scraping, or even launching DDoS attacks.
There are millions of bad bots on the internet that visit various websites. These bots pass through your system and affect the metrics on which you set your campaign goals
For the purpose of analytics, unauthorised web crawlers can be a nuisance because they can disrupt site analytics and generate click fraud.
These bots pass through your system and affect the metrics on which you set your campaign goals.
Over 40% of all website traffic is comprised of bot traffic, and majorities are by malicious bots.
The worse part is when bots are used to manipulate data from digital campaigns. This is bad news for the advertising industry, as most of us won't be able to tell the difference between a bot acting like a human and an actual human.
When you bid or buy in the digital advertising space, decisions are made based on Analytics and the provided target audience. Unfortunately, many times is manipulated. Fraudsters take advantage by spoofing and creating low-quality sites and selling them as high-value inventory. Instead of humans, the ads are then clicked on by numerous malicious bots that bleed your ad budget.
I am not saying PPC or other paid ads won't work but it really requires professionals to look after them and see problem areas. They can be spotted by experienced digital marketers.
Your analytical numbers are manipulated with false data, tricking advertisers into thinking that the campaigns are performing well, and end up wasting more of the marketing budgets.
The following analytics anomalies are the hallmarks of bot traffic:
- Abnormally high pageviews
- Abnormally high bounce rate.
- Surprisingly high or low session duration.
- Junk conversions.
- Spike in traffic from an unexpected location.
Most large companies have entire teams of specialists in charge of managing digital campaigns and minimising ad fraud's impact.
It’s not easy to discover every bot that may crawl your site but with a little bit of digging, you can find malicious ones that you don’t want to visit your site anymore.
You can use two methods to block bots from your site effectively.
The first is through robots.txt and the htaccess file on the server.
Blocking bots and spiders can require some work! But it’s well worth it in the end. To control these particular bots, it makes things that much better for SEO professionals.