There has been a surge in information about bots and fake users on the internet, and studies have confirmed that much of the web is actually made up of invalid traffic. Unsurprisingly, the presence of the Fake Web impacts businesses of all sizes. In today’s world, it doesn’t take a massive data breach or a privacy violation for businesses to feel the effects of bots and fake users.
For this reason, many organizations are making strategic efforts to identify and block these types of users. Throughout this article, we will describe the damage caused by the Fake Web as well as how businesses can spot and block bots before they infect their go-to-market efforts.
What damage do bots and fake users cause?
When bots and fake users interact with a company’s campaigns, website, database, or other digital assets, they inherently pose a threat to the operational efficiency and organizational well-being of that business.
First, they waste advertising spending by draining budgets that were intended for legitimate prospects and customers, and they pollute audiences which ultimately leads to skewed optimizations and unusable smart campaign audience segments.
Furthermore, they can signal high levels of intent by engaging with content and filling out forms on-site which skews conversion metrics. They can then make their way into CRMs and consequently waste the time of salespeople while inflating CRM bills.
Additionally, with bots present, nearly all analytics platforms can become skewed and paint an inaccurate picture of reality within BI systems. For all of these reasons and more, it is mission-critical for many businesses to identify and protect against these threats.
How can businesses identify potential fake traffic?
Massive bot attacks can become glaringly obvious after the fact, but for businesses that want to be a bit more proactive, there are some more subtle signs of bots and fake users that they can look out for. For example, if there is a sharp increase in traffic to a pricing or product page, there might be scrapers present. Or if there are unusually high churn rates from relatively new subscribers, the business could be experiencing new account fraud. If affiliate partners start sending an influx of traffic to a site, but none of those visitors are converting or even turning into pipeline, there could be cookie stuffing at play. All of these things might be difficult to identify at first, but having a keen eye for these patterns is a good first step toward stopping Fake Web threats in their tracks.
How can businesses block fake traffic?
In order to block fake traffic from interacting with advertisements, companies can implement exclusion lists or identify which IPs and sources are giving them the most low-quality traffic. However, this can be difficult to do manually because it requires a lot of bandwidth, and because bots and fake users sometimes have similar behaviors to legitimate users, there can be false positives as well as missed opportunities to block. Furthermore, this solution only hypothetically solves the issue of ad fraud, and will not protect a website holistically. For this reason, it is recommended for all teams to adopt some form of cybersecurity. Most commonly, go-to-market organizations use GTMSecurity to identify and block their invalid traffic, so that they can focus on driving business.
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