Scraping is the process of extracting data or information from websites and publishing it elsewhere. This is an illegal
activity done without the consent of the owner of the original source. Manually scraping the content is laborious and
hence scrapers deploy sophisticated programs known as bots and
scrape a large number of pages illegally.
So it is important to know if your website is secure from bad bots. Let’s see a few ways in which you can detect the presence of scraper bots in your website. .
Copying content and publishing on another website, without proper attribution is illegal. By scraping your website, scrapers get an unfair advantage over your content. Scrapers steal your content, tweak it and publish it elsewhere as their own, in a matter of few minutes. This will affect your genuine traffic and may even affect your SEO Rankings. While there are many online tools like Copyscape or Plagiarism checker to keep a tab on content duplication, it will take a lot of manual effort to detect this. Your content could be outranked by the website that stole your article.
Bots are programmed to perform repetitive tasks at a high speed which cannot be replicated by humans. Monitoring bot behavior can show uneven numbers (spikes) in metrics such as page duration, page visits. Bots usually scrape a large number of pages in a short span of time. So if there are visits in seconds, then you can be sure that they are bots.
Bots tend to spam your website with unwanted messages via the forms on your website. If you are a business that makes use of comment and registration forms, then this might be one additional problem for you. Bots scour the pages for information and fill them with unsolicited messages or malicious links. This will hijack the thread by coming in between genuine user interactions and even frustrate the user.
These are the most basic indications that confirm scraper bot activity on your website. However, most of the bots are more evolved and smart enough to mimic the genuine human behaviour and it’s difficult to detect their presence without the help of an automated anti-bot solution. In most of these cases, the scrapers will damage the website even before they are detected. So it becomes very important to know, how to detect the bots and the right way to block them.