August 17, 2022 | By:

Bot Traffic and SEO: What You Need to Know

Bots play an integral role in SEO and digital marketing in general. Search engines like Google use bots, or web crawlers, to discover and index new content. When a bot finds a new piece of content, it “crawls” the page and looks for clues on it to help determine what the page is about.

One of the most important factors in SEO is how often bots crawl your content. If your content isn’t being crawled frequently, it’s not going to rank as well in Google’s search results. In fact, bot traffic is one of the key indicators that Google looks at when determining whether or not to rank a piece of content.

What Is Bot Traffic and How Does It Affect SEO?

Bot traffic is traffic generated by automated scripts, also known as bots. However, these scripts imitate human behavior, making it difficult to distinguish from genuine human traffic.

With that said, there are two types of bot traffic: good and bad.

What Are Good Bots?

Good bot traffic is generated by search engine bots (web crawlers). As we mentioned earlier, these bots are dispatched by search engines like Google to discover and index new content. Good bot traffic helps your content get found and ranked in search results.

In addition to search engine bots, there are other kinds of good bot traffic, such as:

  • Site-monitoring bots: These bots help you keep track of your website’s uptime and performance.
  • Analytics bots: These bots collect data about your website’s traffic so that you can better understand your audience.
  • Social media bots: These bots help you automate your social media marketing efforts. For example, you can use a bot to schedule tweets or Facebook posts in advance.
  • Feed bots: These bots help deliver your content to subscribers via RSS feeds.

What Are Bad Bots?

On the other hand, bad bot traffic is generated by malicious scripts designed to harm your website in some way. These scripts can be used for a variety of nefarious purposes, or black hat SEO strategies, such as:

  • Scraping content: This is the most common type of bot. It scrapes content from websites and republishes it without permission. This can hurt your SEO because it can result in duplicate content.
  • Scraping email: Another kind of scraping bots function by scraping email addresses from websites. This can hurt your website’s reputation because it can lead to spam emails being sent to your subscribers.
  • DDoS attacks: Some bots are used to launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which overload a website with traffic and cause it to crash.
  • Spamming comments: Other malicious bots are used to post spammy comments on blogs and forums. These comments are often linked to malicious websites or other forms of advertising.
  • Brute force attacks: Other bots try to guess passwords for websites. This can lead to security breaches if the passwords are not strong enough.

How to Detect Bad Bots on Your Website

Google Analytics is a good start if you want to check your website’s bot traffic. To do this, go to the “Audience” section and then click on “Technology.”

From there, you should see a list of the different types of browsers and devices that are being used to visit your website. If you see any strange or unfamiliar browsers/devices on this list, it’s likely that they’re bad bots.

To get rid of them, you can either block them entirely or just redirect them to another page (such as a 404 error page).

To block a bot, you’ll need to add its IP address to your .htaccess file. If you don’t know how to do this, you can contact your web host and they’ll be able to help you out.

How to Reduce Bad Bot Traffic

Bad bot traffic can harm your website in a number of ways, so it’s important to take steps to reduce it. Here are a few things you can do:

1. Use a security plugin

A security plugin, such as Wordfence, can help you block bad bots from accessing your website. It can also help you identify which bots are hitting your website and where they’re coming from.

2. Use a CAPTCHA

A CAPTCHA is a test that humans can pass but bots cannot. Adding a CAPTCHA to your website can help reduce bot traffic, as well as spam comments and brute force attacks.

3. Use a honeypot

A honeypot is a trap for bots. By adding a honeypot to your website, you can trick bots into revealing themselves so that you can block them. One example of a honeypot is a hidden form field that bots fill out but humans will not.

4. Restrict access to your website

You can also reduce bad bot traffic by restricting access to your website. For example, you can password-protect certain pages or use a plugin like CloudFlare to block IP addresses that are known to be associated with malicious bot traffic.

However, this advice should be taken with caution — you wouldn’t want to accidentally block good bots from indexing vital content from your website.

How to Leverage Good Bots for SEO

In addition to reducing bad bot traffic, you can also leverage good bot traffic to help improve your SEO. Here are a few things you can do:

1. Make sure your website is accessible to bots

This means ensuring that your website’s design is clean and simple and that your site’s code is well-organized.

You also need to be careful when using a robots.txt script. This script tells bots what they can and cannot index on your website. If you’re not careful, you could accidentally block good bots from accessing your website. To learn more about how to effectively use robots.txt, you can refer to Google’s comprehensive guide.

2. Use sitemaps

A sitemap is a file that contains a list of all the pages on your website. By adding a sitemap to your website, you can help good bots index your website more easily.

To create a sitemap, you can use a plugin like Yoast SEO or a sitemap generator like XML Sitemaps. Once you’ve created your sitemap, you need to submit it to Google Search Console.

3. Use structured data

Structured data, or schema markup, is a code that helps search engines understand the content on your website.

Setting up structured data can be quite confusing at first, but there are tools you can use to make the process easier. For example, Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper can help you create and add structured data to your website.

4. Add new content regularly

Content is the main way for bots to discover and index your website. By regularly adding new content to your website, you can help good bots keep your website crawled and up-to-date, and improve your SEO.

One of the best and most effective ways to add new content to your website is by blogging. Not only does this give you fresh content to share with visitors, but it also helps you attract new ones to your website.

Improve Your SEO with the Right Strategy

Bot traffic can have both a good and a bad impact on your website’s SEO. With the right strategy, you can use good bot traffic to improve your SEO while reducing the impact of bad bot traffic.

If you need help in improving your search engine optimization strategy, or with producing content and strengthening your website’s security, Ilfusion is here for you. We provide reasonably priced and personalized solutions for any kind of brand.

Give us a call at 888-420-5115, or send us an email at [email protected] to get started!

Tags: , , ,

Categorized in:

Featured Articles

February 1, 2018 | By: Ilfusion Team

How To Start an SEO Campaign in 6 Steps

Starting a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign can be tricky for any digital marketer. How do you begin? What is the most important element to implement? How do you know if it’s working? Don’t be overwhelmed, though. Starting an SEO... view more

September 26, 2017 | By: Ilfusion Team

5 Signs You Need to Hire a Marketing Agency

Marketing is a crucial part of your business strategy. It’s what keeps the gears turning and the driving force of your company’s sales. For small businesses, marketing is important in getting the word out there that your company exists and... view more

September 21, 2017 | By: Ilfusion Team

Key Advantages of Video Marketing for Your Growing Business

There has been a rise in the use of mobile devices to access the internet, and there are no signs of it slowing down anytime soon. In this era where most people thrive on living on the go, video marketing... view more

September 13, 2017 | By: Ilfusion Team

5 Things You Need to Know: Image Optimization for SEO

If you’re a company whose content strategy relies on images, or if your business blog is image-heavy, it’s high time for you to think about optimizing your images for SEO — if you haven’t done so already. While there isn’t... view more

August 2, 2017 | By: Ilfusion Team

Tips on How to Choose the Best Keywords for Your Website

When you have an SEO or PPC campaign, it all starts with one basic element: keyword research. Keywords are the driving force that enable web crawlers and indexers to find your page through the throngs of websites in the world-wide... view more

July 26, 2017 | By: Ilfusion Team

Top 3 Search Ranking Factors You Should Know About

Landing on the first page of Google’s search engine results is one of the ultimate marketing goals of many website owners. While Google is keeping mum on what exactly gets you to the top of their SERPs, there are factors... view more

June 28, 2017 | By: Ilfusion Team

The Importance of Social Media in SEO

Nowadays, social media has inarguably become an indispensable tool in any marketing strategy. SEO, of course, is also one of those tools that have evolved with the many trends and changes that has occurred through time. This leads marketers to... view more

April 27, 2017 | By: Ilfusion Team

5 Ways to Dominate Google’s Search Results in 2017

Here’s how to place your website at the top of search engine results. Creating a website that doesn’t rank well in Google’s search engine results page (SERP) doesn’t translate well to your overall business effort. In recent years, Google has... view more

July 2, 2015 | By: Ilfusion Team

Let’s talk about “The Fold”

We hear it a lot; client feedback that is focused on what content is and is not “above the fold”. To be perfectly honest, this old newspaper term can be a cause of frustration when it comes to good user... view more

June 3, 2015 | By: Ilfusion Team

The Turbit

This crazy ol’ world of ours is spinning faster and faster everyday. Not literally, as we would all be slung to our spacey-doom. I mean figuratively we are all moving more quickly and filling every moment with some bit of... view more

May 6, 2015 | By: Ilfusion Team

How Your Website Can Survive Mobilegeddon

Think your website is mobile friendly? Think again. Google’s new functionality changes have created a frantic need for websites to be optimized for mobile. Mobilegeddon is upon us, and your website could be at risk. See infographic below.

April 23, 2015 | By: Ilfusion Team

Website Cost: A Day at the Ballpark

A question that I get on a regular basis (read: every day) is, “How much will my new website cost?”. To which I typically say something like, “Well, that varies based on the amount of work that’s required to complete... view more

April 7, 2015 | By: Ilfusion Team

Are you a Webspammer?

SEO practices are very different today than how they were even just a few years ago. The number one key to ranking well in search engines today is to create unique quality content. First post it on your website or... view more

March 25, 2015 | By: Ilfusion Team

Social Media Happenings

Ilfusion loves to bring you news on the newest social media functions and trends. Recently, there have been three major happenings in the social media world. Meerkat, a new app that has risen to fame due to the 2015 music... view more

March 12, 2015 | By: Ilfusion Team

The Big Picture

Whether you’re laser-focused on a specific project, or taking a comprehensive approach to your marketing efforts, one aspect doesn’t change: always look at the big picture. Companies often shop at least a few agencies when they’re considering engagement with an... view more