Website bot detection is the process of identifying web bots visiting your site and distinguishing them from real visitors. It is a vital aspect of your website security, as bad bots can skew your traffic and negatively impact your marketing efforts and brand reputation.
Detecting bots can be difficult, but there are a number of indicators you can look out for. For example, a sudden increase in page views from a certain country or city is often an indication that your site has been targeted by rogue bots.
Unusual increases in session durations can also indicate a significant amount of bot traffic. This is a sign that a user’s browser is being programmed to click through pages at a much faster rate than a normal human would.
Why Website Bot Detection is Important for Your Online Security: Best Practices and Tools
Junk conversions: A spike in phony-looking account creations or contact forms submissions can be caused by spambots or form-filling bots. A sudden drop in the average time spent on a website, or a rise in the bounce rate, can also indicate that your site has been visited by bots.
Other simple but effective ways of detecting bots on your website include:
Device hashes: These are the 32-character MD5 fingerprints of a user’s device. These are logged to the console as a unique visitor ID, which helps identify bots from regular users.
IP address blocklists: These can be used to block all traffic from servers or geographies where bad bots are more likely to originate.