Can You Spot (and Stop) the Bot?

One of the things we specialize in here at Central Florida Media Group is building and maintaining websites. We regularly analyze website traffic with our clients as a measure of their progress. When we talk about the “traffic” to your website, we are talking about the visitors who arrive on your page every day. Typically, most of this traffic is made up of real humans. But sometimes, those visitors may be nonhuman, or in other words, bots. Let’s take a closer look at different types of bot traffic, how to identify it, and what you can do about it.

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How Do You Spot the Bot?

The “bots” that visit your page have a number of functions. Some bot traffic is normal and even beneficial for your website, such as the web crawlers used by search engines. But some bot traffic is malicious and used for things like data scraping and DDoS attacks. 

Keep an eye out for these indicators that could alert you to significant bot traffic on your website.

  • Unusual traffic patterns, such as unexplained spikes in traffic from similar IPs
  • High bounce rates, in other words, visitors who come to a single page on your site, then leave without clicking anything else
  • Unusually high or low session duration as bots quickly go through pages on your site or browse through the site unusually slowly
  • Geographic inconsistencies, namely traffic from locations that don’t match your expected user base
  • Unusual rate of requests caused by bots accessing pages on your site faster than humanly possible

If you see any of these anomalies in your analytics, they likely indicate you’re looking at bot traffic. This can throw off your analytics and negatively impact your attempts to optimize the site.  

What Should You Do? 

Thankfully, there are many ways to manage bot traffic:

  • Include a robots.txt file, which tells bots visiting your site which URLS they can access (though not all bots will follow these instructions)
  • Integrate captchas, which help distinguish humans from bots
  • Utilize IP blocking, to keep bots from known problematic IPs off your site
  • Use rate limiting, which limits the number of requests users can make in a certain timeframe

These and other strategies can help you manage bot traffic to your site. You don’t have to deal with bot traffic alone. Central Florida Media Group is here to help. Contact us today to see how we can help.

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