What is a Website Bot?

Jul 22, 2016 | Web Development

Have you ever asked yourself if the visits to your website are truly people? Rest assured we are here to help explain what bots are and how they can impact your website.

What is an Internet or Website Bot

Have you ever asked yourself if the visits to your website are truly people? Is the spike in traffic due to recent marketing efforts or is it a bot? Rest assured we are here to help explain what bots are and how they can impact your website.

Defining a Website Bot

A website bot, also known as an internet bot, is automated software that runs a task on your website. These tasks are often simple and repetitive. There are good (legitimate) bots and there are bad (malicious) bots. Here are a few of the good bots:

  • Spider Bots: These bots are used to index websites primarily for search engines. They help with the ranking of your website.
  • Media Bots: A media bot is used to update specific types of content, such as weather, news, sports, etc.

There are a number of malicious bots that aim to disrupt your website and steal information. The most common malicious bots include:

  • Scrapers: A scraper bot will copy the content from your website which could include images, content, etc.
  • Hacker Bots: A hacker bot will attempt to find vulnerabilities in your website. It is similar to someone walking around your house trying every window or door to see where they can get in.

Are Bots Bad for your Website?

Internet bots are not always a bad thing. There are a number of bots that are good for your website, such as the Google Bot, Bing Bot, etc. These bots will scan your website in order to help your ranking within that search engine. Excluding those bots could impact your ability to be found online.

However, not all bots are good. There are malicious bots that intend to harm your website. It’s a constantly changing landscape so it’s important that your technical team is monitoring your website for any potential issues.

As you review your website performance, remember Google Analytics is all about trends. Whether you have 10 visits or 10,000 visits at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if they’re all from bots. The end goal is to continually increase the number of actual people finding your website.

If you need help reviewing your Google Analytics for bot traffic contact Informatics Inc.