Managing Good And Bad Bots In The Digital Economy

The rise of bots is transforming digital experiences across industries. Bots are software programs designed to automate online tasks. While some bots are beneficial, others can cause major headaches. Understanding the role of bots and deploying smart bot management strategies is crucial for organizations today.

What are good bots?

Good bots perform helpful functions like web crawling for search engines, gathering data, or interacting with APIs. Examples include:

- Search engine crawlers that index web pages for SEO

- Price monitoring bots that scrape eCommerce sites for price drops

- Travel fare aggregation bots that compile flight options across airlines

- Chatbots that provide customer service for many businesses

These bots deliver value by enabling key functions and services. However, they can strain resources if not managed properly.

What are bad bots?

Bad bots pose risks through malicious activities like denial of service attacks, web scraping, fake account creation, and credential stuffing.

Common bad bot types include:

- Spambots that send unsolicited emails or content

- Scraping bots that steal copyrighted content or pricing data

- Attack bots used for DDoS attacks to disrupt web services

- Account takeover bots that try to break into user accounts

- Scalper bots that buy up limited inventory like event tickets

These bots damage businesses through lost revenue, fraud, and poor user experiences. Proactively identifying and blocking them is critical.

Industry impacts

Various industries face distinct bot-related challenges:

- Ecommerce: Scraping bots steal product data and pricing while scalper bots snap up hot inventory. Managing site traffic spikes from good SEO bots during sales is also tough.

- Travel: Fare aggregation bots constantly scrape flight and hotel data. Scalper bots buy up tickets for concerts, sports events, and popular destinations.

- Finance: Bad bots perpetrate fraud through fake account creation, transaction scraping, and denial of service attacks.

- Media: Content scraping bots steal copyrighted text, images, and videos. Comment spamming bots also plague sites.

Effective bot management

Advanced techniques like fingerprint services and virtual waiting rooms enable smarter bot management:

- Fingerprint services identify and track bots across sessions without cookies, distinguishing good vs bad.

- Virtual waiting rooms can redirect bad bots to honeypots and provide cached content to good SEO bots.

- Integration between these two solutions allows calibrated bot responses - providing value or stopping threats.


With the right strategies, businesses can reduce risks, optimize resources, and maximize opportunities from the growing bot economy. Taming the bot boom is key to digital success. To learn more how PhotonIQ services can identify bots and thwart bad bots, chat with an Enterprise Solution Architect.

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