Chances are that, if you're visiting this page, you're not a human. A new study reveals that 61.5 per cent of all website traffic is generated by automated bots. Hi, robot!
The research, carried out by researchers Incapsula, shows that bot-produced traffic has jumped by 21 per cent in the last year alone. But while it might sound weird, all this automated traffic might not be a bad thing.
While plenty of those bots will be malicious — trying to steal data or post dodgy ads — the researchers point out that the biggest jump in growth is for good bots, which are now 55 per cent more active.
Typically, they index content, help perform analytics or preserve web pages for the future. In fact, there seems to have been a drop in the levels of some malicious activity — with a 75 per cent drop in the frequency of spam links being automatically posted, for instance.
The results were generated over 90 days, observing 1.45 billion bot visits on more than 20,000 sites. By no means a complete analysis, but almost certainly broadly indicative of what's happening out there on the wild, wild web. [BBC]