Here's Where the Bots Are, and Aren't, Lurking - eMarketer

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Here's Where the Bots Are, and Aren't, Lurking

Humans account for just 40.9% of web traffic worldwide

June 11, 2015

Are humans losing out to bots when it comes to web traffic? According to data released in May 2015 by Distil Networks, the share of web traffic worldwide coming from humans dropped from 54.8% to 40.9% between 2013 and 2014. This was due to gains in traffic from good bots, which saw their proportion rise from 21.0% to 36.3%. Meanwhile, the share of traffic coming from bad bots dipped slightly, from 24.2% to 22.8%.

Bot vs. Human Share of Web Traffic Worldwide, by Type, 2013 & 2014 (% of total traffic examined by Distil Networks)

Incapsula research released in December 2014 found similar results, with bot traffic coming in at 56% worldwide in 2014. But here, bad bots beat good bots for share of all website visits, at 29% vs. 27%.

Distil Networks found that industry played a large role in which source ruled traffic. Humans accounted for the largest shares of traffic on travel (69.2%), ecommerce (65.4%) and marketplace and classifieds sites (59.0%).

Meanwhile, bad bots wreaked the most havoc on digital publishing sites, at nearly one-third of traffic, or about two-thirds of all traffic from bots in the industry. While the travel industry got bragging rights for share of traffic from humans, just 3.1% of good bot traffic meant it ranked second for bad bots, at 27.8%—or 90% of all industry traffic from bots.

Bot vs. Human Share of Web Traffic Worldwide, by Industry and Type, 2014 (% of total traffic examined by Distil Networks)

Directories, which had the smallest share of traffic from humans, saw the third-highest share of bad bot traffic, at 20.9%. Meanwhile, the real estate and marketplace and classifieds industries were the safest from bad bots, and the former tied directories for the largest proportions of traffic coming from good bots.

eMarketer estimates that digital ad spending worldwide will reach $170.85 billion this year, representing growth of 17.8% and nearly 30% of total media ad spending. By 2019, spending on online and mobile ads will reach $279.00 billion globally, or 38.3% of all paid media ad spend.


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