Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Human Race a Minority?

The human race is a minority on the Internet. And no, it's not because your pets have all of a sudden gotten computer-savvy.
recent report published by Incapsula, a company that helps websites manage their traffic and security, examined the activity across several thousand of its sites and found that humans make up less than 40 percent of all activity in 2013. But even though the bots are more active than ever before, that might not necessarily be a bad thing.
Igal Zeifman, who wrote the report, said that while the number of bots is up from last year, it's not all spammers and hackers. "The bulk of that growth is attributed to increased visits by good bots," he said. Bingbot and Googlebot are both good bots that help the search engines find new sites.
I spend a lot of time on the Internet, but, apparently, bots spend more. 60% of the hits to your site are probably from bots. What does this mean? For one thing, unless your filtering your numbers, you can reduce your hits by about half. You also need to account for these bots when you are designing for volume.
It also may mean that you will need to take this into consideration when you are evaluating how "people" actually use your site, since bots will "use" it in a completely different way. If the bot is from Google, Bing, or some other search engine, it's just working its way through your links without regard for any of your sophisticated marketing techniques, link placement, color schemes, etc. You really need to isolate your human visitors to take advantage of that.
Of course, a bot isn't buying anything, so that could affect your abandon rates if you don't account for it.
If you are using some outside service to evaluate your site, then they are probably taking this into account. If you're using your own resources, then make sure that your statistics exclude the known bots. You won't be able to eliminate everything, but you will be able to reduce the impact on your statistics.
Maybe Ray Bradbury was right . . .

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