A recent study by Incapsula reports that 61.5% of all website traffic is now generated by bots. The findings from the security firm show this as a 21% rise over last year. While some of the automated programs are malicious, Incapsula reports that the largest growth in traffic actually comes from “good” bots which are used by search engines to help index content.
The website traffic report was generated as part of a 90 day study that observed over 1.45 billion bot visitors to 20,000 different websites. 30 percent of web traffic comes from malicious bots. These bots are broken into categories such as scrapers, which copy and steal a website’s content, hackers that steal credit cards or inject malware, spammers posting fraudulent links or fake comments and impersonator bots that gather intelligence or launch DDoS attacks. While 30% seems like a lot of activity, Incapsula stressed the fact that this is actually a decrease in activity over past years. Link spam, in particular, has seen a huge decrease in activity and has dropped 75% over last year. The security firm speculates that this drop is in large part due to increased security measures implemented by Google.