What Percentage of Internet Traffic is Bots?

What Percentage of Internet Traffic is Bots in 2024?

Published on: September 27, 2023
Last Updated: September 27, 2023

What Percentage of Internet Traffic is Bots in 2024?

Published on: September 27, 2023
Last Updated: September 27, 2023

Quick Answer 🔍

What percentage of internet traffic is bots in 2024?

According to statistics, 47.4% of all internet traffic comes from automated bots.

It’s become common knowledge that a lot of internet traffic comes from bots.

What percentage of internet traffic is bots?

This is the topic of our article today.

Key Statistics

  • Bots accounted for 47.4% of all internet traffic in 2022.
  • In 2021, bots account for 42.3% of internet traffic.
  • 52.6% of all internet traffic came from humans.
  • 30% of automated traffic comes from bad bots.
  • 17.3% of internet traffic comes from good bots.
  • 66.6% of bad bots are evasive.
  • 51.2% of bad bots are advanced, sophisticated bots.
  • 33.4% bad bots are categorized as simple.
  • 15.4% of bad bots are moderate.

What Are Bots? 

In terms of the internet, bots can be a simple or complex software program that runs automated tasks ranging from simple form filling to scraping the web for specific data. 

In May 2023, Imperva released its Bad Bot Report (10th edition) which includes an analysis of bot traffic across the global internet. 

We will be using this report and other sources to inform you about bots and internet traffic in 2023.

Why? Because you need to know.

Let’s explore how bots impact internet traffic.

What Percentage of Internet Traffic is Bots in 2024?

Internet Traffic Bots

According to statistics, 47.4% of all internet traffic comes from automated bots.

In contrast, 52.6% of all internet traffic came from human engagement.

Even with human internet traffic being higher than bot traffic, though only slightly, we can see a surge of bots coming at us online in the future.

According to the 2023 Imperva Bad Bot Report, close to half of internet traffic in 2022 was made up of bots.

That’s where 47.4% comes from. In 2021, that percentage was 42.3%, so it’s by 5.1 percentage points.

Good bot traffic accounted for 17.3% in 2022, which is an increase of 2.7% from 2021. 

Between good and bad bots and human internet traffic, human traffic is barely ahead. 

Even as far back as 2013 bad bots accounted for 23.6% of web traffic, while good traffic bots accounted for 19.4%.

The rest was human traffic at 57%. The change has gradually occurred over the past decade. 

(Imperva, Security Magazine)

What Percentage of Internet Traffic is Bad Bots?

The Bad Bot Report from Imperva revealed that 30% of automated traffic comes from bad bots. 

What Are Bad Bots?

The same concept for useful and ethical bots is used to create bad bots.

The difference is in the programming that allows the bot to run automated tasks with malicious and nefarious intentions. 

Bad bots are used to scrape information from websites without permission just to use it for ill intent such as getting the competitive edge.

They are known to distribute denial of service events targeted at a network. 

Bad bots are often used to commit fraud and other nefarious crimes.

Today, bots can be extremely sophisticated and advanced, though there are still some simple bad bots as well.

Let’s show the distribution of bad bots by sophistication.

  • Evasive Bad Bots: 66.6%
  • Advanced Bad Bots: 51.2%
  • Moderate Bad Bots: 15.4%
  • Simple Bad Bots: 33.4%

(Imperva, Security Magazine)

What Is the Impact of Bots?

In this section, we’ll discuss some things you need to know about good and bad bots.

Good Bots

We already mentioned that good bots include web crawlers, or spiders that search engines use to categorize and index webpages.

Their main purpose is to enhance the relevance and quality of specific search results. 

Good bots are also used by organizations to analyze their site performance and to monitor competitors.

Good bots are also sometimes used to improve and personalize the customer experience.

Some examples of good bots:

  • Website monitoring bots: These are programmed to monitor websites and to detect a website’s quality of performance. 
  • Search engine optimization bots: These are the bots that are programmed to improve the results you get when you conduct a search on a search engine like Google, Bing, etc.
  • Marketing bots: Bots that are programmed to crawl sites for paid and organic keywords, backlinks, and traffic profiles are categorized as safe and good bots.
  • Social network bots: Good bots are used on social platforms to protect users from spam, deliver better recommendations, and to build online communities.

Good bots are programmed to stay within good rules and protocols to make sure they don’t use too much bandwidth or interrupt web server performance. 

They are also programmed to know what they can and cannot access on a site.

In fact, good bots are also used to detect and prevent malicious and nefarious activities like fraud and spam.

Ironically, good bots can be used to detect and block out bad bots.

Bad Bots

Internet Traffic Bots

In contrast to good bots, bad bots are used to launch malicious attacks, engage in fraudulent activities, and scrape data without permission.

It’s unfortunate that bad bots are outweighing good bots these days. 

Bad bots are also getting more sophisticated than good ones. So, what are bad bots used for?

Some uses of bad bots:

  • Click fraud: This involves ad fraud that costs advertisers billions each year. This bad bot type causes fake page views and impressions that are generated by bad bots. Not only does click fraud cost companies financially but it can also damage their reputation.
  • Account Takeover (ATO): Bad bots have malicious intentions that includes illegally obtaining personal data like credit card and bank account information. Cybercriminals program bad bots to engage in credential stuffing and cracking found in data breaches. They are also used in brute-force attacks. 
  • DDoS attacks: DDoS (distributed denial of service) is a cyberattack that literally floods a server with requests until it crashes because it gets overloaded with requests. These bots are programmed to do that with the intention of interrupting regular services, and it prevents the legitimate users from accessing the network and files. 
  • Web scraping: These bad bots are called scraper bots and their intention is to take data like product descriptions and pricing without the website owner’s (business) permission.

This indicates that the programming and the intent of the programmer(s) are what make the difference in good and bad bots. 

(Arkose Labs, Imperva)

Conclusion

We can gather from this information that bots are getting more sophisticated every day, especially bad bots.

Bad bot usage is higher than good bot usage and is almost as high as human internet traffic. 

Will bot internet traffic take over and consume our lives, or will good bots help prevent that from happening?

What are your thoughts?

Sources

Arkose LabsImpervaSecurity Magazine

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Written by Kelly Indah

I’m a statistics researcher here at EarthWeb with a special interest in privacy, tech, diversity, equality and human rights. I have a master’s degree in Computer Science and I have my Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.