Why Bots Can Affect Your Website & How To Stop Them

April 17, 2018

Dealing with bots is one of the most annoying things I’ve had to deal with while growing my website’s. They can cause problems of all types. Before going and making immediate changes to your website in panic it’s best to know what bots are and how they can affect your website.

While doing a study Distil Networks shared a report that showed over the course of 2016 bad bots made up over 19.9% of all website traffic. This is nearly a 7% increase from 2015. It appears bot traffic is at all time high and on the rise 2017 and 2018 will most likely see larger numbers.

These bots that harm your website usually come in 4 categories.

Scrapers

Scrappers are built to scrape a website for it’s information, data and sometimes images. These bots are built to steal and duplicate your website’s content not to mention it puts stress on your server for an unnecessary load to carry.

Hacking

Hacking bots are usually built to steal information from your website such as credit card information and information about your customers. If you run a e-commerce website this something you’ll want to watch out for online customers like to feel secure.

Spammers

Bots that spam your website can ruin your website’s credibility and potentially get you black listed as a bad website. You can usually find spammers attempting to post links to their website’s in various area’s of your website. If you’re a site owner who allows user submitted content or posting comments this is a potential risk to your website.

Click Fraud

If you’re using online advertising click fraud is something you’ll need to look out for. These methods of fraud will blow your advertising budget and lead to meaningless ad clicks that won’t help you gain customers. These types of click fraud bots are frequently used against popular advertising networks such as AdWords or Facebook Ads not to mention could lead to your advertising relevance score dropping and making it harder for you to find the right people to see your ads.

Don’t let these bots ruin your chances of building a great website and reaching the right people.
Here is a great way to stop these bots before they become a hassle to deal with.

How to stop or catch bots that use scrappers against your site.

Use sites like Plagium or Duplichecker to find people who scrape your content and may be using it as duplicate content on their website. You can also use the trackback feature that comes with WordPress to be alerted when your links are being used on another website.

Protecting your sites from hackers

Keep your website updated, If you’re using WordPress make sure your admin area is secure it may be a great idea to block access to the back-end unless it’s an admin or editor. You can download a plugin that will Remove Dashboard Access for WordPress.

Keeping spammers from spamming your website

If you allow comments or user generated content it’s important to protect yourself from this. Comments need a captcha added to need to make sure it’s actually a user. If you have a submission form you can also add a Google captcha to it to keep bots from spamming your website.

Click fraud protection

If you’re using Google Adwords know that they’ve place a ton of time in making sure the invalid clicks are checked and disregarded if found invalid. You can launch your very on analysis of invalid clicks as well pay attention to IP addresses and how they behave with your ads.

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