Now there is a new threat being openly talked about, malicious bots. These skew website visitor numbers, often making them seem much higher than they are. The problem is in identifying the bots in order to remove them from the statistics. Distil Networks has now launched a product, Distil Bot Discovery for Google Analytics to do just that. It comes hot on the heels of their acquisition of Are You A Human which has technology to separate bot from human.
Rami Essaid, co-founder and CEO of Distil Networks said: “In our recent Bad Bot Report, analysts found that every website, from the largest (Alexa 1-10,000) to the tiniest (Alexa 150,000+), were impacted by bad bot activity in 2016, showing that the problem permeates beyond industry and company size. Google’s independent bot filtering catches less than one percent of the bots we see, and does not provide the level of insight obtained through Distil Bot Discovery. With this new product, companies can understand the scale of their bot problem within minutes.”
What does this mean for website owners?
Distil Bot Discovery for Google Analytics is free. Distil Networks claims that this will detect the 99% of bot activity that Google Analytics misses. If that number is correct, a lot of sites are in for a very rude awakening. More importantly, where they are already struggling to keep up Ad revenue due to under reporting of visits by Google Analytics, this will only make the problem worse.
Distil Networks claims that its latest product will enable companies to:
- Determine which channels and campaigns are being hit the hardest by bots and wasting advertising dollars.
- Identify the forms and pages where bots are skewing conversion rates the most.
- See the true performance of A/B tests by filtering out bot actions.
- Create a custom view to automatically filter bot data from every Google Analytics report.
- Prove the quality of traffic to advertisers and ad verification companies.
Making the tool free will ensure that it gets to a much wider audience than a paid tool would. It will be interesting to see how many SEO companies begin to use it and offer bot statistics as part of their free assessments. There will be concerns from companies that this will have a significant impact on their website traffic numbers. It could also be the case that customers who already ask for those Google Analytics numbers will now ask for adjusted figures. How much this will affect their income from advertising remains to be seen.