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The Effects of Bad Bots on Web Scraping

The Effects of Bad Bots on Web Scraping

Effects of Bad Bots

When the term “bot” comes to mind, we often perceive it as something negative. Not all bots are however bad and it may be bad to believe is that both the good and bad bots share similar characteristics. So good bots get identified as bad bots and get blocked.

Bad bots are being improved and made smarter, making it even more difficult to detect the good ones. This creates a problem as site owners need to create the best website performance at all times, and also for those who depend on web scraping as well and so it becomes important to know how to detect bots.

This article will not only focus on bot detection, but will also cover everything about bot traffic, what it is, how websites can detect bots and block them, and also its effects on web scraping.

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Signs That Show the Presence of Bot Traffic on Your Website

Bots are made for their speed in completing tasks for greater efficiency. You will notice spikes in number one page visits and uneven page duration if not activity is involved. So if you monitor the bot behavior, you will see visits in seconds.

You can also suspect bot activity if you notice your content has been duplicated. Bots are sometimes used to extract data from a web page which is then published on another site as their own. This can be a daunting process manually, but with a bot it’s easy and only takes a short while.

Bot presence also spams the website with unwanted ads. It greatly reduces user experience as they keep getting bombarded with pop ups and links to malicious websites.

Bot Traffic: What It Is And The Different Types

Bot traffic is a request from a non-human origin that is sent to a website. The traffic is from an application that runs tasks faster than a human user would due to its automated mode of operation. This feature allows bot the leverage to be used for both good and bad purposes. In 2019, 24.1% of bot traffic sent to websites were from bad bots with malicious intent.

1. Bot Traffic vs Human Traffic

Good bots traffic has been decreasing over the years, and are replaced with traffic from bad bots. Due to this, website owners have strengthened their website security which also blocks out the good bots.

2. Good Bots

Good bots are software that are of benefit to businesses and individuals. An example can be seen in the search results you get after searching for a keyword which is made possible by crawler bots. These bots are utilized by companies, and as they function, they do so with respect to the webmasters regulations for crawling and indexing. Some crawlers are blocked from indexing if they are not relevant at the point.

  • Bots for Web Scraping

Web scraping bots are used to extract data from the internet for research, to identify illegal ads and bring them down, for brand monitoring, and a lot more.

  • Bots for Search Engines

Search engine bots are one of the good bots whose function is to crawl a site, catalog, and index web pages. Their activities provide search engines with data with which they improve their service delivery.

  • Bots to Monitor Websites

These bots monitor websites and detect any possible issues such as long loading times and downtimes.

Interesting Read : BEST SNEAKER BOTS FOR 2019

3. Bad Bots

Just as good bots are beneficial to businesses and individuals alike, bad bots are meant for malicious intent. They are used by hackers to comit cybercrime more effectively.

Just like everything else, bad bots have evolved and are more difficult to detect as the day goes by.

  • Ad Fraud Bots

These bots steal money from ads transactions.

So in summary, you can say a good bot is one whose function isn’t detrimental to the user neither does it reduce user experience. A bad bot is the opposite and acts to fulfill malicious purposes.

  • Bots to Send Spam

Such bots are used to create fake accounts on social media, messaging apps, forums, and so on for spam purposes. They are used to create more clicks on a post, and also to build social media presence.

  • Bots to Launch DDoS Attacks

Such bots are created to take down websites in a DDoS attack. It leaves enough bandwidth available so that other attackers can make their way into the network through the compromised security layers and steal sensitive information.

4. How To Stop Bad Bots

Using a bot manager can help you detect bot activity on your website so that you can prevent any unwanted action effectively. Some bot managers even use advanced machine learning to detect non human activity no matter how sophisticated it may be and you should look out for these.

Note however that the bot you choose must be able to distinguish between good bots and bad ones by observing and taking note of the bot intent in real time.

How Websites Detect Bot Traffic

Websites have utilized various techniques in bot detection to prevent the action of bad bots. You must have come across some of these techniques as you browse the internet (e.g CAPTCHA). Various bot detection methods come to mind when the question “how to detect bots” comes to mind, and we will discuss some of them:

1 . CAPTCHA

CAPTCHA is one of the most used anti-bot detection systems, and it involves filling in codes, object identification, and others.

Once bot-like behavior is detected, the website would usually block further access.

2. Browser Fingerprint

In bot detection using browser fingerprint, you check for features that have been added by headless browsers including PhantomJS, Puppeteer, Selenium, Nightmare, and others.

Interesting Read : Proxies for Instagram bots and how to get them?

3. Behavioral Inconsistencies

This includes repetitive patterns, nonlinear mouse movements, fast button, and mouse clicks, average requests per page, average page time, browsing from inner pages without first collecting HTTP cookies, and other bots like behaviors.

4. Browser Consistency

This detection method involves checking for features that should be in a browser or those that shouldn’t be there. You can carry this out by launching certain JavaScript requests.

The Effects of Anti Bot Measures on Web Scraping

Just as bots have become more advanced, so also has anti-bot measures. It has become more difficult to successfully collect data from the internet without the website’s defenses detecting you and blocking you out. The future web scraper bots would have to adapt to these challenges they face by reducing as much as possible any marks that could be used to differentiate their actions from real human actions.

To get around this, guided bots would have to be built and used. They would be made to be similar to real human users in their organic behavior. By this, it will be difficult to differentiate bot from human, and web scraping can be completed successfully with fewer chances of failure.

Avoid Bot Detection With Limeproxies

The type of Proxies used with your bot plays a role on the speed at which websites detect and block you. That’s why you need to always choose a reliable Proxy service that offers you dedicated and fresh IPs.

With fresh IPs, you are sure that no one else has used the Proxy, so the chances of being flagged are reduced. You also enjoy complete performance in terms of speed and security as you use dedicated Proxies from Limeproxies.

You can perform any task you have thanks to the fast speed connection Limeproxies provides.

FAQ's

A lot of effort has been put up by website owners on how to detect bots. There are both good and bad bots, but with the rise in statistics showing bad bots activities on the rise, one can’t be too careful. Many of these blocks set up by websites affect both good and bad bots as it has become difficult to differentiate one from the other.

In overcoming blocks, bots have to be made to bypass the challenges and loopholes that lead to their detection. This way, helpful practices like web scraping can have higher chances of success.

About the author

Rachael Chapman

A Complete Gamer and a Tech Geek. Brings out all her thoughts and Love in Writing Techie Blogs.

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