How to Identify Real Traffic or Bot Traffic?

Your business’s website gives potential customers their first impression of it. In the current digital era, protecting your website is therefore more crucial than ever, so you must take precautions.

Some of the most frequent explanations for why a website might not be accessible are listed below. In order to guarantee flawless uptime for your website, we also shared the solutions to prevent such problems.

By selecting a reputable hosting company, the majority of these problems can be avoided. Additionally, it will assist in giving your company websites a dynamic online presence to support the exponential growth of your business.

Through the link, bots can find the site’s various web pages. Then, they download and index the website content with the aim of learning what each web page is about. This process is known as crawling, and it automatically accesses the websites to gather that information.

What is Bot Traffic

Bot traffic describes the users or activity on a website or app that is produced by automated software programs, or “bots,” rather than actual people. These bots are created to carry out particular tasks or actions without the assistance of a human. Therefore, all traffic coming from these automated sources is referred to as “bot traffic.”

“While some bot traffic is legal and beneficial, such as when it helps users or search engine rankings, other bot traffic can be malicious or fraudulent. To identify and differentiate between bot and human visitors, website owners and app developers must monitor and analyze their traffic. This promotes accurate metrics, security threat protection, and the maintenance of a trustworthy and fair online environment.

Does your website suffer from bots?

Beginners might be perplexed by the topic of bots: are they beneficial to the website or not? The website needs a number of effective bots, including search engines, copywriting, site monitoring, etc.

Search Engine

Search engines can provide adequate information in response to users’ search queries by crawling the website. When a user searches on a search engine like Google, Bing, or another one like it, it generates a list of relevant web content; as a result, your site will see an increase in traffic.


Copyright bots scan websites for content; if they contain anything that is in violation of the law, the company or individual who owns the copyrighted material may take them down. These bots, for instance, can search the internet for text, music, videos, etc.


Monitoring bots keep track of the website’s backlinks and system failures and send out alerts when there are outages or significant alterations.
The good bots have been covered in enough detail above; let’s move on to their malicious applications.

Scraping content is one way that bots are used to their detriment. Without the author’s knowledge, bots frequently steal valuable content and store it in their web database.

It has the potential to be used as a spambot and can be used to scan web pages and contact forms for email addresses that could be compromised and used to send spam.

Not to mention, hackers can use bots to hack systems. Tools are typically used by hackers to scan websites for weaknesses. The software bot can, however, scan the website via the internet as well.

When the bot finally gets to the server, it finds and reports the holes that allow hackers to exploit the server or website.

Managing or preventing the bots from accessing your site is always preferable, whether they are being used maliciously or for good.

For instance, a search engine’s crawling of the site is better for SEO, but if they request to access the site or web pages in a split second, it may overload the server by using more server resources.

Bot Traffic Types

Traffic bots can be used for both good and bad due to their quick task completion. “Good” bots can gather information, examine site performance, and check links on websites.On the other hand, “bad” bots can infiltrate websites and start DDoS attacks or spread viruses. Below is a list of some of the different forms that both these good and evil bots can take.

Good Bots

  • Search Engine Crawlers – These bots are used by search engines to crawl (to visit a page, download it, then use the links on that page to extract links to other pages), index, and categorize web pages, which serves as the foundation for search results.
  • Website Monitoring Bots – In order to maintain a healthy website, these bots keep an eye out for performance problems like slow loading times or downtime.
  • Aggregation Bots – These bots assist in data collection or content aggregation by gathering information from various sources and compiling it in one location.
  • Scraping Bots – Scraping bots can be used for both legal activities like research and data collection as well as illicit ones like spamming and content theft.

Bad Bots

  • Spam Bots – These bots disseminate unwanted material by frequently focusing on comment sections or sending phishing emails.
  • DDoS Bots Complex bots are capable of orchestrating distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, which overwhelm websites with too much traffic and disrupt service.
  • Ad Fraud Bots – Bots are used to fraudulently click on ads, sometimes in conjunction with fraudulent websites, manipulating ad engagement and potentially increasing payouts.
  • Malicious Attacks – Bots can be deployed for various malicious purposes, including spreading malware, initiating ransomware attacks, or compromising security.

It is crucial to realize that while some bots perform legitimate tasks and benefit the online ecosystem, others can be harmful and cause serious harm.

Therefore, taking the necessary steps to identify and reduce malicious bot traffic is essential for protecting websites and user experiences.

How Can You Spot Unwanted Bot Traffic?

Gaining the advantages of all beneficial bots and identifying malicious bots is crucial to preventing them from negatively impacting the functionality of your website.

A good place to start is by identifying the bot traffic using tools like Google Analytics. These tools facilitate detection and offer additional insights.

It is crucial to be aware of certain indicators that can offer hints when detecting bot traffic, but it can be difficult to locate concrete proof. While looking at website data and network requests can help spot potential bot activity, a definite and convincing hint is needed to prove the presence of bots.

Key metrics can provide valuable insight into identifying bot activity from Google Analytics, which include –

  • Page views
  • Bounce rate
  • Average time on page

Let’s go through them one by one.

1. Unusual numbers of page views

Bots frequently produce a high number of page views in a brief amount of time. Look for sudden increases in traffic or unusually high numbers of page views that deviate from the norm. It may be a sign of bot traffic if you see a sharp rise in page views that cannot be accounted for by valid factors like marketing initiatives or content promotion.

2. Rapid fluctuations in bounce rate

Keep an eye on the progression of your bounce rate. It may be a sign of bot activity if you notice sudden and significant changes in bounce rate, especially if there are no corresponding changes to your website or marketing initiatives. Bots frequently work in bursts, which can result in strange increases or decreases in metrics like bounce rate.

3. Unusual Average Time on Page

A page with:

  • An average time on page value that is consistently low, such as a few seconds or less
  • As bots can stay on a page indefinitely, abnormally long average time on page values, like a few hours or days, may also be a sign of bot activity.

In addition, despite varying user behavior, bots frequently display consistent behavior, visiting pages in a predictable pattern and spending roughly the same amount of time on each page. Pages that display little user interaction, such as clicks, scrolling, or form submissions, but have high average time on page values may be the result of bot activity.

The accuracy of identifying potential bot traffic can be improved by using additional techniques like user agent analysis, referral source analysis, and IP address inspection.

How to Use Robot.txt to Control/Stop Bots and Prevent Unwanted Bot Traffic?

A robots.txt file is the best primary defense against bot traffic on a website.

The robots.txt file tells web robots or crawlers what portions of the website they are permitted to access and explore. The robots.txt file allows you to specify disallow directives that will stop good bots from accessing particular pages of your website.

What is Robot.txt?

The rules that control how they can access your site are in the Robot.txt file. This file is stored on the server and provides the file’s location to any bots that visit the website. These guidelines also specify what pages to crawl, which links to follow, and other actions.

As an illustration, if you don’t want certain web pages from your site to appear in Google’s search results, you can add the appropriate rules to the robot.txt file, and Google will ignore those pages.

These guidelines will be adhered to by good bots. However, you can’t make them follow the rules; a more proactive approach is needed, such as crawl rates, allowlists, blocklists, etc.

Crawl Rate

How many requests a bot can make per second while crawling a site is determined by the crawl rate. The server may become overloaded if the bot requests to access the website or web pages in a split second or less by using more server resources. Not all search engines might allow you to adjust the crawl rate.


For instance, you planned a gathering and sent out invitations. This explains how web bot management functions. If someone tries to enter an event without being on your guest list, security personnel will stop him, but anyone on the list is free to enter.

You must specify the “user agent,” “IP address,” or a combination of these two in the robot.txt file in order for any web bot on your allow list to easily access your website.


The blocklist differs slightly from the allow list in that it only permits specific bots to access the website. Others can access the URLs while the specified bots are blocked by Blocklist.

For instance: to prohibit website crawling in its entirety.

Block URLs

To prevent a URL from being crawled, you can set up straightforward rules in the robot.txt file.

For instance, you can specify a specific bot or an asterisk to block all of them for a given URL in the user-agent line.

All robots will be prevented from accessing index.html. Instead of index.html, any directory can be defined.

It is crucial to remember that the robots.txt protocol is an optional one. While malicious bots may disregard them, good bots typically follow them. As a result, more steps must be taken to manage all bot traffic than simply relying on the robots.txt file, especially for bots that have malicious intentions.

Here are some additional steps you can take to manage and lessen bot traffic.

  • Implement CAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA:
    Adding CAPTCHA challenges or reCAPTCHA verification to forms or login pages enables you to distinguish between humans and bots. This helps prevent bots from submitting spam or performing malicious activities.
  • Implement IP blocking or blacklisting:
    You can prevent certain IP addresses from accessing your website if you can identify them as being involved in malicious bot activity. You must exercise caution, though, as some bots may conceal their identity by using proxy servers or dynamic IP addresses.


Bot traffic is unquestionably a significant component of the online ecosystem that you cannot completely avoid or ignore. While beneficial bots may work in your favor, unfavorable bots can harm your data or website. You can more effectively manage the effects of website bots by combining these measures, monitoring security practices constantly, and adapting security approaches.

George W