Study: 51% of Internet traffic is from bots, 31% is harmful

By on March 16, 2012, 8:00 AM

According to research by Incapsula, approximately half of all Web traffic stems from automated sources. The outfit determined that humans only represent about 49% of traffic, while the remaining chunk is derived from bots. Of that bot-related traffic, 20% stems from kosher sources such as search engine indexers, while Incapsula believes 31% of your site's traffic is actually harmful in one way or another.

"Few people realize how much of their traffic is non-human, and that much of it is potentially harmful," Incapsula cofounder Marc Gaffan told ZDNet. Incapsula notes that conventional analytics services aren't entirely accurate in this regard. "Google [Analytics] simply doesn't show you 51% of your site's traffic including some seriously shady non-human visitors including hackers, scrapers, spammers and spies."

The study was performed with data from 1,000 sites with an average of 50,000 to 100,000 monthly visitors. From that sample, 5% of traffic was found to be hacking tools, such as those used in DDoS attacks or "scouters" that scan websites for vulnerabilities. Another 5% of the traffic came from "scrapers" that automatically extract data and content such as prices, stocks and email addresses.

About 2% of the traffic came from comment spammers which shouldn't need any explanation, and 19% stemmed from "other spies of sorts," including SEO analyzers. Conveniently enough, Incapsula happens to provide a cloud service that can help secure your site by blocking illegitimate traffic. You can sign up for free if you have under 25GB of bandwidth a month, while premium plans start at $49 a month.




User Comments: 6

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stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

Hmmm...sounds more like a sales pitch to me

ikesmasher said:

Seems like there is not enough human activities. I cant imagine this is completely accurate.

Guest said:

True? Maybe? Scary?

Mindwraith said:

So the internet is being used mainly by machines? That's a scary thought. Human use of the internet is just a side-feature.

krayzie said:

woops left the damn botnet on again last night

sorry guys...

Guest said:

Concur that the company has a vested interest in the results of this report. They make some strong claims with limited information to back it up. Doesn't make it untrue, but before I'd act, I'd want more data.

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