What Is Bot Traffic and How Does It Affect Your Brand?
In the business world, it’s well known that if you want to grow sales for your brand, you need effective SEO to drive traffic to your website and enhance your online presence.
However, did you know that sometimes a website’s traffic comes from bots, not real users? Let’s take a closer look at what bot traffic is and how it can affect your SEO.
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What Is Bot Traffic?: A Must-Know for Brands
Bot traffic is an automatic algorithm that can interact with websites. Nowadays, it’s harder to detect bot traffic as it’s developed and designed to simulate human usage. In fact, bot traffic can be divided into good bots and bad bots, depending on their intent.
Good Bots vs Bad Bots
Good bots are search engines and digital assistants, for example. These are designed to help businesses and consumers. Good bots will gather data on the internet or provide services to help consumers. Examples of good bots include:
- Search engine bots gather and check the content on the internet, then rank and display the search results to users.
- Site monitoring bots: verify and evaluate website metrics such as backlinks and downtime.
- Commercial bots: controlled by commercial or marketing companies, these search for customer reviews or advertising spaces.
- Feed bots: collect data to display on your platform feeds.
- Chatbots or personal assistant bots: provide information and interact with human users via messages or audio, such as Siri and Alexa.
On the other hand, bad bots negatively affect the security and efficiency of business operations. They are primarily used for malicious purposes like giving false information, hacking data, and attacking and exploiting people via computers or smartphones. Some examples of bad bots include:
- Distributed DoS (DDoS) attacks target networks or applications and make them inoperable.
- Web content scraping is the theft of copyrighted information from other websites for use on another site to try and outperform the competition.
- Click fraud generates clicks on pay-per-click ads to generate revenue or deplete a brand’s PPC budget.
- Fake accounts attack brands with fake product reviews.
How Do You Detect Bot Traffic?
You may be wondering how to detect bot traffic. It can be detected by web engineers and tools like Google Analytics or Heap. Some dominant characteristics of bot traffic include:
- Unusually high pageviews
- Unusually high bounce rates
- Unusually high or low session duration
- Junk conversions, such as filling in fake personal information
- Access from unexpected locations
How Does Bot Traffic Affect Brands’ SEO?
Everybody knows that traffic affects SEO rankings. Bot traffic can disrupt website metrics such as the number of views, usage duration, users’ geographical data, and conversions. With distorted information, your business can’t evaluate its website effectively.
You may now be wondering how businesses can drive legitimate website traffic without using “bad bots”. Our answer would be to focus on SEO, as it will help optimise your website’s efficiency and increase organic traffic. Adjusting your content to be more SEO-friendly helps Google understand your content better, so your website can rank higher. As a result, your business will be able to compete and drive more sales.