Most Web Traffic Isn't Human
Bots now account for 61.5% of traffic
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2013 2:06 AM CST
Any humans in there?   (AP Photo/Facebook, Alan Brandt)

(Newser) – If you're an Internet user with blood in your veins and air in your lungs, you're now part of a shrinking minority, according to startling new research. Some 61% of web traffic is now non-human, made up of a motley assortments of bots generated by search engines, scrapers, hackers, and spammers, an Incapsula study finds. That's up from 40% last year, though "good bots" like search engines made up much of the increase, CNET notes.

But around half of the bots are malicious bots, Incapsula warns—and the fastest-growing category among them is impersonators trying to pass themselves off as legitimate bots to bypass security measures. Spambots, however, appear to be in decline. The bots are surprisingly easy to create, finds Alexis Madrigal at the Atlantic, who has no coding experience but was able to get the hang of it after a few hours of training on commercially available software. The ease of building traffic-boosting bots helps to lower ad rates, which leaves less money for content and "hurts what you read each and every day on the Internet," he writes.

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Showing 3 of 14 comments
TwoSheds
Dec 13, 2013 8:06 PM CST
All is great until your site gets black listed
Bill Kratzer
Dec 13, 2013 7:01 PM CST
geez a little more content might get us flesh and blood users to spend a little more time on your site, but not to worry, I too learn when a site becomes more aggravation than its worth to try and learn or accept adds, bye
Terrankiller
Dec 13, 2013 10:27 AM CST
This article is accurate. You wouldn't believe the amount of crap that goes on with the internet.