Wondering what bots are? What’s a good bot vs. bad bot? Bots are both useful and harmful programs designed to automate various and often repetitive tasks. In this regard, they are either good or bad.
Some studies have confirmed that bot makes about 50 percent of all internet traffic. However, what most people are concerned with is the bad ones because they need to be identified so they can be blocked or they cause harm.
What are Good Bots?
When talking about good bots, we’re referring to bots that are beneficial to both individuals and businesses.
Have you ever thought about what happens when you search for a product or service on the internet? What makes you get relevant results on the search result page?
Spider bots or crawler bots, for instance, Google bot, Baidu Spider, Bingbot, etc. are some of the elements that make this possible.
Ideally, reputable sites deploy good bots and most often they follow rules put in place by webmasters to regulate their indexing rate and crawling activity.
What’s more, crawlers that aren’t beneficial to the business are blocked from indexing websites.
Good bots, in addition to search engine crawlers, can include partnerbots, for instance, social media bots i.e. FacebookBot, Slackbot, backlink checker i.e. SEMRushBot, PingdomBots for monitoring websites, aggregator bots, among others.
Even beneficial ones can at times cause problems. For instance, crawlers can cause problems when they experience huge traffic beyond the server capacity.
Here are some examples of good bots:
- Copyright bots
- Search engine bots
- Commercial bots
- Site monitoring bots
- Feed bots
- Personal assistant bots
What are Bad Bots
Unlike good bots, bad bots are designed to perform harmful activities. Ideally, they work ambiguously and are mostly used by cybercriminals, fraudsters, and nefarious parties that engage in malicious activities.
Competitors or third-party scrappers can use them to steal crucial information from your site, for instance, breaking news, product reviews, pricing information, the content generated on community platforms, among others.
By making thousands of visits to your page within a very short time, the web servers are strained, slowing down the site for legitimate users.
Ways Bad Bots Can Destroy Your Website
Now that you’ve seen the various types of bots that crawl the web, now let’s look at how they actually cripple your website. You’ve already seen that some bots can help catch those trying to steal your content, some bots can also be malicious.
But how exactly can a bot traffic problem hurt your website? Read on and learn more.
1. Bots Can Cripple Your SEO Ranking
SEO ranking on your website depends on several things: reliable backlinks, content quality, fast load time, among others. By crawling your website, bots can affect your reliability and functionality reaching a point where it hurts your SEO ranking.
2. They Can Crush Your Site by Overloading it
DDoS can make your site inaccessible. This happens when many infected computers come together to attack a specific target. This exhausts your network connections and server resources, causing website outages.
3. They Can Post Your Content Elsewhere
Sometimes bots can steal your uniquely crafted content and post it somewhere else without your knowledge. Sometimes, unless you’re actively searching your content, you may not realize it has been stolen.
This way, your SEO will be harmed and you could be punished for having duplicate content on your site.
4. Bots Can Slow Your Load Time
Due to their nature, bits can extremely affect your site’s load time. Slow load time will not just be frustrating to users, but also hurt your quality score.
5. They Can Infect Visitor’s Devices
It goes without saying that once your site has been infected with malware, then all customers visiting your site are likely to be infected as well.
Hackers and fraudsters can inject malware codes into your site. Since these codes might not have much difference with your site’s code, it might be hard to spot them.
In fact, you’re unlikely to notice that your site is infected by malware until Google detects it.
6. Bots Can Collect Data from Your Site
Data aggregators are known to steal data that you spent a lot of money on and release it for free. This way, your research will be diluted, making it hard for you to make money from it.
7. They Can Destroy Your Reputation
You must protect both the personal and bank account information of your customers. Bots can infect your site and steal data belonging to your customers, leaving them exposed to risks. This can go a long way in destroying your reputation.