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Humans Surpass Bots in Website Traffic

Bots are a minority on more popular sites

Bot traffic varies based on a website’s popularity, but overall, humans account for more than half of all website traffic.

Human vs. Bot Internet Traffic Share Worldwide, by Daily Site Visits, July 24-Oct 21, 2015 (% of total traffic tracked by Incapsula)

Imperva, a cloud-based application delivery platform, reported that 51.5% of total traffic tracked on its network—between July 24 and October 21—came from humans. Bad bots, attack tools that increase activity on popular websites, accounted for 29.0% of total traffic and good bots, information gatherers used by organizations, accounted for 19.5%.

On smaller websites, which see 10 to 1,000 daily site visits, bots—both good and bad—are a majority of all traffic. Bots also account for most traffic on sites that have 1,000 to 100,000 daily visits. But on sites with fewer than 10,000 visits per day, most bot traffic is positive. On sites with the fewest visits, an outright majority of all traffic comes from good bots like the ones used to index sites for search engines.

On more popular sites, like those that have more than 100,000 daily visits, bots are a minority—but bad bots represent significantly more traffic than good ones.

Extent to Which Bot Traffic Negatively Effects Digital Campaigns According to US Digital Ad Buyers vs. Sellers, Oct 2015 (% of respondents)

While bot traffic may be bothersome to some, the extent to which it negatively affects digital campaigns is still uncertain for both advertisers and publishers.

According to October 2015 data from Distil Networks and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), 48% of digital ad sellers were not sure how much of a negative effect bots had on digital ad campaigns. Among ad buyers, that share fell to 40%.

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