Bots comprised 40% of 2016 web traffic - half of that came from bad bots

A flock of birds

As much as 40% of all web traffic in 2016 originated from bots, those capable of disrupting sites (bad bots) comprised 20% of all web traffic, claims a report from bot detection company Distil Networks.

Furthermore, as much as 96% of all websites with a login page were accessed by malicious bots, hinting at dangers towards brand websites and ecommerce systems.

Three quarters of bad bots spoof an origin from a popular web browser such as Chrome, Safari Internet Explorer and Firefox, a total of 60% come from data centres rather than serving as mobile or residential traffic.

Of the threats afford by these bots, 97% of sites with premium content or paywalls were hit with scraping, furthermore, 90% of sites were hit by bad bots behind the login page, accessing the likes of payment sections and more. Additional to this, 31% of websites with forms are hit by spam bots, traffic that can slow down the customer experience.

The report read: “Businesses hire out bad bot creators to price scrape competitor websites, capture findings from consumer monitoring and opinion gathering sites, and scrape contact information from consumers to whom they wish to market. Developers that create sophisticated scraping bots can earn as much as $128,000 per year. Renting out bots-for-hire can cost as little as $3.33 per hour.

“After a year of record-breaking DDoS attacks from weaponized IoT devices, congressional hearings on anti-scraping legislation, and increased bot activity—it’s clear that bad bots are here to stay.”

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John McCarthy

John is an entertainment marketing reporter at The Drum. He writes about the amazing marketing stories coming from the movie, TV, music and video game industries. He's also the hunt for the weirder trends in marketing and advertising.

Fuelled by tea.

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