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Video: Why Does Bad Bot Traffic Happen to Good Websites?

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Charlie Minesinger: What kind of websites attract bad bot traffic? Well, they're pretty typical attributes for most websites that are trying to be commercial, right? There's pricing information or proprietary content, which is why consumers come to the website, there might be some web forms because when they come to the website, of course you want to capture some information about the people who are coming there. Maybe they'll become customers and pay you some money. Once they're a customer they might want to sign up or they might want to log in, manage their account. Often we'd like to collect payment through the website, so these are all really attractive things that people have on a website.

And, by the way, there is advertising on websites sometimes. So, for all these different reasons, which are all just very common things that you see on a commercial website, these are all very attractive things because people can make money off of it.

So, what kind of websites, or how often? Well, for sites with retractive content, 97 out of 100 of them are getting some scraper traffic. For websites with forms and such, around 30% of them are getting a lot of bot traffic. The interesting thing is on the logins, 96 out of 100 sites that we look at that have login pages do get bot traffic to the login path, and then it gets actually a little bit worse, behind the login, it's actually 90 out of 100.

So, still the login is kind of one of those things and I want to talk about this for a second. Most people think, well, Charlie, we have a login. All our content's protected. Well, actually for sites that have a login page, we see fully three quarters of the bot traffic is actually after someone has logged in.

Speaking from experience with some content providers and people with proprietary databases and such, I can assure you we've seen as high as 40% or 50% of all the traffic behind the login is actually bad bots, so once you get through that login, it's very attractive because that's where the goods are, so there's a lot of traffic of bots actually behind the login page. It might be a little counterintuitive, maybe you think the login page is really protecting you, but not really.

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