THE VOLUME OF web traffic driven by bots has increased by 21 per cent in the last year, a new report has found.
Research from online security company Incapsula found that 61.5 per cent of all website traffic is now generated by bots, compared to 51 per cent last year.
The majority of traffic comes from search engines and what Incapsula calls “good bots,” tools used by search engines to crawl websites to help index their content, and allows analytics companies to see how well a site is doing.
Their presence grew from 20 per cent in 2012 to 31 per cent this year.
Malware bots such as scrapers, hackers, spammers and impersonators made up the remainder 30.5 per cent of bot activity. The rate of spam bot activity decreased significantly by 70 per cent, something that the report puts down to Google’s anti-spam campaign, as well as a 10 per cent drop in hacking tools.
However, it noted an 8 per cent rise in impersonator bots, which try to assume the identity of a search engine or person to fool security measures.
Incapsula says it looked at 1.45 billion bot visits over a 90 day period, and collected the data from a group of 20,000 sites on its network.