It’s time to stop the feeding frenzy
Whenever I read claims by friends, clients or colleagues about high traffic to their sites or some such, I am tempted to ask — you sure it`s all human?
Industry surveys show that anywhere between 29% and 52% of all web traffic is bot; read not human. Extrapolated, it means of your 500 web visitors daily, a minimum of 145 and 250 are computer programs. What?!!!
Serious publishers, SEO specialists and content marketers are aware of this menace but it is the average Joe — the food blogger, the digital artist, the travel writer — who’ve never heard of bots, or are dimly aware of them. Those who are, do not know how to tackle them.
Traffic is one aspect. Bots (and here, I refer to only the malicious or bad ones) also cause serious monetary loss when they are used to perpetuate ad click frauds, and even used for money laundering purposes.
As some one who has been part of the web/Internet/digital industry for almost two decades, I can claim to have had a ringside view to the growth of bots. It`s become an entire industry now, albeit on the dark side, representing the seamier side of the World Wide Web.
But what infuriates me is that not much was done all these years to tackle this dark force despite its growing tentacles. In fact, for long, black hat SEO “specialists” used bots to con unsuspecting clients into believing the numbers, whether traffic or ad clicks, or social media likes or followers. Some even used such “fake” numbers to get funding!
I am happy to note that it is only now, maybe in the last year or so, that a concerted effort by government agencies, private enterprises and digital publishers is being made to take on bots.
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