Do you picture a malicious scraper bot stealing content off a web page? Or perhaps a spybot, collecting your personal data without your permission? Maybe it's neither, and you think of two good friends from a certain inter-galactic film franchise.
When hearing the word bot, most of us think of a bad bot (e.g. zombie bot). After all, bad bots have contributed a lot to the billion dollar ad fraud problem. They are also frequently mentioned in the media in reference to cybersecurity hacks, so it's not hard to see how the general impression of bots is negative. However, not all bots are bad. There are good bots that can help your brand with a variety of needs and even fight fraud.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Benefits of Good Bots
For as many malicious ways bots can be used, there are just as many helpful ways to use bots. Utilizing good bots can provide your brand with strategic advantages. For example, they can help you assist your customers with product questions during peak (or off) hours. They’re also a great tool for scouring the web for negative mentions so you can protect your brand.
Here are some ways good bots can be used to be an asset to your brand
Chatbots are on a multitude of websites for customer service purposes. They can help prospective customers by answering basic questions and providing product or service information. They can also help fight fraud by sending out security alerts when there is a potential breach. For instance, your bank may have a 24/7 chatbot that will notify you when any suspicious activity happens within your account.
These internet bots periodically monitor web pages and report on metrics like page load time and website performance. You can use these bots to detect any technical issues with your site so you can improve performance and potentially detect fraud, too. You may find your metric reflects an anomaly caused by bad bot traffic. It's helpful to utilize these bots to automatically check your site, so they can alert you when something is wrong.
When a scraper bot attempts to steal content from reputable sites, copyright bots fight against the theft. These bots are programmed to find duplicated content and they continuously search the web for material that has been stolen, protecting your hard work from fraudster exploitation.
A crawler (sometimes called a spider) is a bot that works alongside search engines and discovers pages to add to the search engine’s index. These crawlers “crawl” billions of web pages to fetch data. They determine the ranking of your pages, which is why it's so important to stay up to date with your SEO. If your optimization is working, these crawlers will boost your position, so that your site's visibility increases.
Don’t Let Bad Bots Deter You
Sure, there are more bad bots (28.9%) than good bots (22.9%),which is daunting, but don’t be discouraged. While there are less of them, legitimate bots still pack a powerful punch, protecting you against fraud, boosting your brand safety, and improving your customer service. Effectively utilizing these good bots helps to defend your web assets against bad bots.
Remember not all bots are malicious. Some bots just want to help, and that’s not so bad, is it?
Learn more about the benefits and threats that bots may pose to your business, start your free trial today to see how Anura can help you validate users in real time and pinpoint sources of fraudulent traffic.