Bots skew your statistics
Skewed statistics are typically a side effect of bad bots on your website. Each bot interaction, no matter what the bot does, puts an invalid number in your metrics. Bad bots make up for an average of 20-25% of the entire web traffic so business decisions that are based on data that includes these figures are obviously not optimal.
Marketing departments constantly analyze how customers reach their website and how they move on the website until they finally buy something. In order to optimize sales funnels reliable data is crucial. Pages are being optimized based on data from A/B-tests. Leads are given attributes to be able to analyze the effectiveness of marketing measures and to optimize them for the future. But what happens when all data are skewed by bots that have no intention to buy anything ever? Bots raise costs and inflate marketing budgets.
Bot operators have little problems to influence the reputation of companies and people, mostly through social media. The public discussion about real or fake Twitter followers is only one example for one metric that’s being skewed by fake bot accounts. Online surveys are another target of bot operators. They manipulate results in their favour with simple means.
How can you detect whether you’re affected?
Metrics are being skewed by each bot that crawls your website. Here are some ways to detect it:
Take a close look at your analytics platform
Your analytics data may contain unexplicable peaks that may point towards a bot attack, for exapmle brute force login attempts with leaked credentials or an unauthorized scan for security vulnerabilities of your website.
Analyze sudden changes in the origin of your website traffic
You unexpectedly receive much more traffic from one or more country. For you it may look as if that traffic was good but it may just as well be a bot that attacks your business. Do spend more marketing budget in that country that might declare the rise in traffic? Without knowing whether this traffic is human you can’t reach any informed decisions.