Bots are the opposite of Star Trek’s Borg.
While that sci-fi batch of bad dudes wanted to assimilate you, the goal of many bot types is they want you to assimilate them.
And when you do, you’re paying for it.
Here’s where a bot crawling over your site hits your business budget:
Automated clicks on ads and other web content drive down value, diminish investments and hurt integrity.
And the bot problem only seems to be getting worse as technology advances. In 2012, for example, a Long Island startup gained widespread attention after claiming that 80% of the clicks it paid for in Facebook ads came from bots and not humans.
To be clear, not all bots have bad intentions, but their sheer numbers are a concern. Check out this Infographic from the Incapsula 2014 Bot Traffic Report:
Examples of a good bot are the search engine spiders that relay a site’s content, keywords, et al, for the purpose of classifying and displaying it on search lists.
As seen above, bad bots come in four insidious types: Hacking Tools, Scrapers, Spammers, and Impersonators.
They can pose a potential major loss of money for advertisers.
The Internet Advertising Bureau reported that online display advertising revenues were $49.5billion in 2014, so all that bot traffic means an overall potential spending waste by advertisers that reaches into the hundreds of millions of dollars at a minimum.
So, how can those bots be beaten?
The online advertising company Solve Media recently ran some analytics on the issue, and came up with a number of interesting results, which are presented in this Infographic:
You’re obviously paying publishers to reach people. Those precautions will go a long way toward making sure you do.