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Half the Web's traffic comes from bots, and that's costing you more than you think

Katherine Noyes | May 13, 2016
'You need to closely scrutinize your analytics,' one analyst says.

Companies should also remember that some bots are created just to obtain information that might be easier to get with a company-provided API, said Michael Facemire, a principal analyst with Forrester.

"If I find some information that is useful to me right now but also would be useful over time, as a developer, the first thing I do is see if there’s an API to get that information," he said. "If the answer to that is ‘no’, the next easiest way to get it is to write a bot or crawler to regularly scrape the site for that information."

Since crawlers negatively affect a company's website, it's important to use analytics: first to see what pages are being pulled, and then to decide whether a public API could expose some of that data, he said.

Ultimately, it's a game of cat and mouse, said analyst Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates.

"The bad guys always devise a workaround, and the good guys do the best they can under the latest assault to filter out extraneous traffic," Kay said.

 

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