Cyber attackers in recent years have emerged as ‘thugs of the internet,’ they target online businesses, perform nefarious attacks, and get away with sensitive data. These attackers use automated scripts (a.k.a bad bots) to execute automated attacks.
In this blog, let’s discuss how reducing the presence of bad bots not only helps organizations avert potential attacks but also improves overall search engine ranking. To dig deeper into this, we studied the traffic pattern of a conglomerate from the e-commerce industry and a series of websites from its group during Nov. – Dec. 2018. We recorded the traffic changes in an aggregated form for all the websites from this conglomerate. The study showed a clear correlation between the reduction in bad bots traffic and the presence of crawlers on these websites.
As the graph explains, we can see how during November – December 2018 after deployment of ShieldSquare’s bot mitigation solution, websites from this conglomerate were able to improve the presence of search engine crawlers by a significant percentage while averting potential attacks.
Conclusion: How E-commerce Firms can Improve Search Engine Ranking
All major e-commerce platforms have sophisticated bot activity on their websites, mobile apps, and APIs that exposes them to nefarious automated attacks by competitors and cyber attackers. These attacks are aimed at taking over user accounts, stealing sensitive data, and scraping product catalogs/pricing information. As the graphs suggest, restraining bad bots can help in boosting the presence of search engine crawlers. Here are a few ways through which e-commerce firms can improve their search engine ranking and reduce the presence of bad bots:
Watch Window Shoppers
We all like window shopping and so do the bad bots. Bad bots masquerade as genuine window shoppers to scrape content and pricing information on e-commerce websites. The presence of ‘bot’ window shoppers impacts your website performance and also hurts your search engine ranking. E-commerce portals must track window shoppers that are highly active on the platform but don’t buy anything. Such accounts can be bots mimicking real users.
Unusual traffic doesn’t mean an increase in your customer base
According to OWASP, a sudden surge in traffic can be because of the massive presence of bad bots. As soon as you notice an unusual spike in traffic, contact a bot management vendor such as ShieldSquare, you may be under an attack.
Watch Your Competitors
Online retail is a crucible of technical innovations in which tracking prices, deals, content and product listings of competitors is a well-known strategy. E-commerce firms deploy bots or hire professionals to track close competitors, scrape product and pricing information. You must regularly track your competitors for signs of price and product catalog matching as the presence of competitors’ bots directly affects your search engine ranking due to duplicate listings in search results and slowed website performance.
Deploy a Dedicated Bot Management Solution
Sophisticated bots simulate mouse movements, perform random clicks, and navigate pages in a human-like manner to masquerade as genuine users. Detecting such sophisticated behavior requires cutting-edge machine learning models such as Intent-based Deep Behavior Analysis (IDBA) to understand the intent of visitors and filter bots. Purpose-built bot mitigation solutions can help you filter bad bots and improve your overall search engine ranking.