Bots have taken over the World Web. These bots come in different forms – some are spam-bots, others are malicious bots and some are “legitimate” bots. However, in terms of sheer numbers, you may be shocked to learn that these bots generate a staggering two-thirds of all Web traffic. This amazingly high number represents a significant increase (twenty-one percent) since 2012.
To help you get the inside scoop on why this is happening, we’ve created a detailed guideline. Once you’ve gained a deeper understanding, you’ll likely look at the Internet in a whole new way.
What are Legitimate Bots, Anyway?
These types of bots are also known as “good” bots and they are utilized by legitimate agents of registered software programs, such as Google’s search engine application, in order to trawl the Web and classify data for a range of purposes. For example, Google’s good bots will make note of fresh content to websites in order to rank websites in search engine results. The Google algorithm for calculating search engine rankings is a closely-guarded secret – however, electronic data which is collected by good bots is definitely an important part of the equation.
SEO is About Attracting Google’s “Good” Bots
If you’re an online entrepreneur, you probably already know that many online entrepreneurs spend a lot of time trying to attract these “good bots” via white hat search engine optimization techniques (SEO), with a mind to getting their websites on the all-important “first pages” of Google search engine results. Even if this goal can’t be achieved, there is always value in raising search engine rankings as much as possible. After all, search engine rankings typically contribute to high Web traffic and spark vital conversions. In fact, the relationship between search engine rankings and online business success can’t really be overestimated.
Search engine bots will look at image tags, Meta tags, internal and external links and a range of other SEO-based data in order to decide which websites should be classified as the cream of the crop. These good bots have dramatically increased in number over time and their numbers are bound to keep rising.
While the criteria for attracting positive attention from Google’s search engine bots has changed greatly over time, due to the Google Panda update and other initiatives which are designed to stop spammers and discourage inorganic content (i.e. black hat SEO and the like), entrepreneurs and SEO gurus always find ways to make progress, in accordance with Google’s latest rules. While those who run bad bots online try to break the rules, this is becoming much more of a challenge.
Other search engine bots are out there. However, for the purposes of this article, we’ve focused on Google, as it’s such as dominant online entity (with an overabundance of good bots!).
Bad Bots Are Up to No Good
Now that you’ve learned about the omnipresence of good bots, it’s time to flip the coin and think about the bad apples in the bunch. These “bad bots” aren’t indexing content for search engines. Instead, they’re being used as the emissaries of shady operators who prey on others via the Internet.
Thirty-one percent of bots fall in this malicious category, and they exist in order to post links for phishing purposes or to grab sensitive data from networks. While the numbers of bad bots are clearly high, they are believed to be decreasing on the whole, by 1.5 percent between 2012 and 2013. Why? Well, again, it’s all about Google’s mammoth impact online. In other words, when Google decided to try and minimize the presence of spam bots via their Panda update, Penguin update and related initiatives, they definitely hit the target.
Since enhancing search engine results and rankings via black hat SEO was often a prime motivator for the creation of spam bots, there isn’t the same need for them nowadays, as Google’s new rules and stipulations may trigger bans or penalties (if black hat-wearing online entrepreneurs utilize spam bots in order to try and artificially pump up rankings). To summarize, these bad bots just don’t work as well as they used to and that’s why their numbers are slowly but surely dwindling.
While there are still plenty of these virtual entities around, it’s safe to say that Google’s continued efforts to eradicate these virtual threats will contribute to lower numbers of malicious spam bots in the future, and this is definitely a good thing.
Link Spamming is On the Decline
Automated link spamming is just one aspect of what bad bots do, and Google has very successfully stopped a lot of this form of nefarious online activity. To date, Google is responsible for reducing link spamming by seventy-five percent. Nonetheless, some types of bad bots are on the rise. These are the types of malicious bots which attempt to break through data security features. The creation of these types of bots takes quite a bit of skill, and it’s typically done by seasoned or very talented hackers.
Now that you know more about the world of good bots and bad bots, you’ll understand the truth about Web traffic numbers. Despite all of these bots, the Web does get its fair share of human interaction, via real visitors to websites, social network commentary and so on. Websites and platforms which offer the human touch tend to thrive, as they provide the most engaging, entertaining and informative content, as well as the interactivity features that people are looking for.
Bots aren’t going anywhere. They are a part of “life” online. They are used for good or ill, and they are found everywhere that real people go in order to get information via the World Wide Web. By understanding the role of these bots and how this role is changing over time, you’ll grasp some essential truths about Web traffic numbers and what they really mean.
New Google updates support the creation of organic content, which provides an authentic benefit to visitors. These updates make the Internet a nicer place, although it still features its share of bad bots and bad apples.