Easy methods to Forestall Bots from Attending to Your Web site: Instruments & Suggestions
When you have a website you need to know what bots are and how to find your website and what they can do (intentionally or indirectly) to frustrate your online marketing efforts. Blocking bots can be a necessity to protect your website's speed, users, and security.
Let's talk about what bots are and how you can take some protective measures to keep your website safe.
What are bots and how can they be bad?
Before we get into the details of what they can do and how to stop them, we need to take a step back and find out what a bot is.
A bot is a software script that does a data task over and over again. It is this repetition and data interaction that makes them part of the online world with which we interact.
Some of the other names you'll use to hear bots explain what bots are and how they work. Think of terms like spiders, crawlers, or web bots.
Are they all bad?
There are some misunderstandings that we can clear up right away.
Although the term for robots is short, bots are not robots in the form of metal, gears, and computers. As we discussed earlier, these are script elements that run continuously over data from websites or other online platforms.
Also, they are not necessarily maliciously driven by a hacker or someone with malicious intent. Sometimes they are neutral or even useful, e.g. B. Bots used by search engines to index websites.
How do bots work?
As mentioned above, bots are generally parts of a software script that repeat a task over and over. An outside person, either a friend or an enemy, can use them to accomplish a specific task.
However, bots are getting “smarter,” so to speak, and some are created using artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning technology. Some examples of this are e-commerce chatbots, which allow brands to learn from human interaction and deliver a better customer
Service experience for your audience.
Here is an example of an ecommerce chatbot on the ModCloth website:
What do bots do?
As mentioned earlier, bots can be helpful, e.g. B. indexing for a search engine or improving the customer experience.
They can also be malicious and cause problems for your website or other web presence. Some bots are designed to crawl websites and steal data such as passwords, identifiable information, or personal information. They can also carry out malicious attacks on websites, computers, and other places. Some become refined and unfold a series of steps to wreak havoc on another user or organization.
They can also be used to speed up interactions online. This can take the form of flooding a page or forum with comments, increasing the number of purchases or the popularity of something to generate interest, increasing social media interaction to improve views, or otherwise, to "play" the system.
That way, you can often see bot activity on your website.
How can you tell if your website has bot traffic?
Do you need to block bots on your website? Here are some signs and how to check.
Red flags you might need to block bots
There are some signs that bots have been on your website and these may be the first place to start. Here are some to look for:
- Excessive commenting on your blog or other sites
- Comments that appear illegible or human-made
- Overlinked comments or obvious spam
- excessively or suddenly high bounce rates on a given page
- a sudden increase in subscriptions for your newsletter or other forms
- Email subscriptions that don't appear to be human-generated
- Login attempts from unknown sources
- any other activity that seems fishy
Where can you check to block bots?
If you have a gut reaction that you need a bot blocker, you can take a deeper dive to see if bots are a problem for your website and if it is worth investing time blocking bots.
Here are some places to explore:
- Google Analytics to study the traffic on your website
- A service like Copyscape to check if your content has been plagiarized elsewhere
- Your web server logs to learn more about where people are from
10 steps to stop bots from getting to your website
Trying to prevent bots from getting to your website can be a little like trying to put an invisible shield around your website to keep intruders off.
While it's not quite as fanciful, if you are taking steps to keep bots from invading your website and causing chaos, you need to be proactive and put processes in place before problems arise.
It starts with understanding the enemy, fixing current problems, and then preparing for future attacks. Here are a few steps you can take:
1. Identify the weight of the problem
If you've read this far, you likely have bot concerns and want to learn more about how to block website bots. However, before you get started, you should always consider what is happening on your website.
Do you have a significant problem with bots or are you just noticing increased activity?
Also, consider what impact this has had, or could have had, on your online marketing efforts. As mentioned above, some bots are good and some are bad. Some are just neutral.
For example, on a particular day or on a particular page, the activity of your website may be slowed for no apparent reason. You cannot associate them with a specific marketing campaign that promoted this page and caused a surge. The activity boost can come from a bot.
If the surge was short-lived and you haven't seen any other issues, it may be worth taking a look, but it may not warrant extreme or rash reactions.
However, if you've discovered that your ecommerce website has been hacked or parts of your website have been infected and are no longer working properly, you probably want to act quickly to close the hatches and clean your website. If so, you can skip to the later steps here and take action right away.
2. Understand the source
Once you discover that web bots have disrupted your website, you need to do some research to find out where they came from.
I've listed a few places above that can help you find out if bots are attacking your website. They can also help you find out where these bots came from.
You may be able to view data about the visitors to your website in Google Analytics, in your web server's access logs, or in emails with login attempts. You can search for a pattern or a range of the same IP address repeatedly.
3. Make a plan
Now is the time to decide what to do.
If you have already suffered an attack, you need to take steps to fix the problem and fix any vulnerabilities on your website to avoid further problems.
If you've seen bot activity but haven't been attacked, focus your plan on looking for vulnerabilities that could be exploited in the future, and tightening them up now.
4. Stay up to date
Keep your website and all of its integrations up to date with the latest versions. Regardless of which website CRM provider you use, make sure you are up to date with the releases of this platform. For example, if you are using WordPress, you need to make sure that your theme and plugins have the latest updates.
Staying up to date has its advantages. First, bots can use older versions to gain access. In addition, platforms are motivated to offer their customers safe products. The latest updates may include enhanced security features and bot blocker options.
5. Add CAPTCHA tools
One way to prevent bots from interacting with parts of your sites (such as logins, contact pages, and purchase options) is to make sure that only people can take these actions.
CAPTCHA forces the user to take a challenge or other action to prove they are not a bot. If a bot did not write the correct action in its script, it will not finish that task and continue.
Here's an example of a CAPTCHA you've probably seen before:
6. Check your APIs and other connections
Especially if your website is a few years old, you may have a lot of API integrations and other connections to other web platforms installed. If you've allowed this integration to connect to and share data with your website, APIs can be an area of weakness.
Check all APIs, plugins, connections or other integrations:
- Do you use them all Remove the outdated.
- Are you using the latest versions? If not, update it.
- Do you use quality products? If security measures are not in place, they should be replaced.
If you have any questions, please contact the platform owner and make sure they are safe.
7. Block older browser versions
This isn't foolproof, but another way to close down some of the ways bots can access your website is to prevent older versions of browsers from accessing your website. You can do this by asking users to use new versions of their browsers to view your website.
TechRepublic recommends using this method as most users will be forced to upgrade to a newer version of their browser.
This requires accessing and updating your website's .htaccess file. Unless you have any coding experience, we recommend that you contact a web developer.
8. Patch it
If you are struggling to keep up to date on the bots on your site, or if you think the problem may be bigger than you want to control, you can reach out to a professional to dig deeper with bots deal that may go to your website.
If you find that a particular bot keeps coming back to your website and causing problems, such as: For example, if you make offensive comments or attempts to gain unauthorized access, you can prevent this IP address from accessing your website in the future.
Many web hosts like GoDaddy provide detailed information on how to accomplish this task. However, you should know that this is only a patch. It can stop a pretty insidious attack, but a lot of hackers or malicious bot-starters have ways of getting from different IP addresses so the solution may not work in the long run.
Hubspot also reminds us that blocking an IP address means blocking all access by a person or a bot from that IP address. So weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.
9. Stay up to date
For a long-term solution, you can pay for a bot blocker service. While there are many different options, they all promise you a little bit of security as their integrated solution stays on your website, comparing visitors to their information to look for problems and alert you to them. Some options are:
- Radware Bot Manager
- Google ReCAPTCHA
10. Ongoing monitoring
Blocking bot is not a one-off situation. You still need to monitor your website for issues.
You can look out for any of the problems described above and take steps to plug any holes. You can add this to your calendar for monthly or quarterly check-in.
You can also keep an eye out for public data breaches. When you hear of widespread attacks, check your website for signs of bot activity.
As AI continues to grow in marketing, our discussion of blocking bots and adding them to our marketing stack is likely to grow too. Bots can be helpful in our digital work and support our digital marketing strategy.
They can also be malicious and attack your website at any time. The best way to block bots is to stay vigilant and keep your web presence updated and tidy.
Do not let vulnerabilities such as outdated plugins or open access ports exist any longer and invite opportunistic bots. Monitor as you go and consider hiring an outside third party if the problem or risks become greater than you want to handle.
What's the first step in blocking bots?
See How my agency can drive Firmly Traffic volumes on your website
- SEO – Unlock tons of SEO traffic. See real results.
- Content Marketing – Our team creates epic content that is shared, links accessed and visitors drawn.
- Paid media – effective paid strategies with a clear ROI.
Book a call