How Websites Detect Bots

Bots are a common problem for websites. Although not all bots are bad, some cause unwanted problems for businesses such as skewing traffic statistics and slowing down website performance, which can result in poor customer experiences and lower conversion rates.

While bots come in many shapes and sizes, there are a few key how websites detect bots that a website may be seeing bots. One of the most obvious is a sudden spike in page views per visit. Bots tend to load up a lot of pages all at once in order to get the data they need, and this can lead to a high number of page visits that skew your analytics.

Another way to detect bots is to look at the average session duration or time on page. Average session durations are usually steady and any large deviations can indicate bots are visiting your site.

Combatting Bot Attacks: Exploring Effective Solutions for Bot Detection and Prevention

There are also a number of passive signals that can be used to identify bots, such as detecting if the User-Agent in the browser is a known bot, or that the browser is using basic scripting tools. Some bots, such as those that are used for scraping data, use a variety of techniques to disguise their bot identity, which makes them hard to detect.

While there are plenty of ways to detect bots, it is important that any detection methods don’t create friction in the customer experience or prevent legitimate users from accessing your site. Using a solution such as website device fingerprinting, which can access deep information about a browser and detect patterns of behavior that are unique to bots, is an effective method for detecting bot traffic.

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