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Uncovering Bots in eCommerce Part 3: What Sets Scraper Bots Apart?

By Netacea / 02nd Jun 2020

On 14th May we hosted a live webinar with Dan Williams, Head of DevOps at Belami. During the webinar, Dan discussed his experience with scraper bots in the eCommerce industry.

What are scraper bots?

Web scraping uses bots to collect large amounts of data from websites. Quite simply to extract content and data from a website. Data that’s publicly available. The scraper bot can then duplicate entire website content elsewhere.

What makes scraper bots different from other bots?

Scraper bots, most of the time, are not always bad. Bots are constantly at work behind the scenes making our digital lives run smoothly. They are usually looking for information that you are freely giving to your website’s visitors. Which means some of them can be helpful.

Dan explained:

“Bots such as Google bots, come onto your website for good reasons, for search engine indexing. Other good bots include news aggregation and pricing intelligence.

“Bots scrape data from websites every day. However, malicious web scraping can cause businesses to suffer serious financial losses if the data is obtained without their knowledge and consent.”

Bad bots can be overly aggressive, hitting websites 5,000 times a minute. This can result in server stress and incur severe traffic costs for companies. Scraper bots can cause major server stress, with that affects cost.

Do you have an effective bot management strategy?

What we do know, is that scrapers are smart.

Dan recommends that businesses “have a plan in place, [and] take a look at your webserver logs right now,” as 75% of traffic can scraper bots on any website at any time.

We need to understand what bots are doing to websites, and how this compares to human behaviour. We now know that bots are sophisticated, and malicious bots pose a huge threat to customer security and brand reputation.

To find out more about how to approach the good, bad and grey scraper bots, you can watch the webinar on-demand here: Uncovering Bots in eCommerce.

In the next blog in our series, we discuss credential stuffing and the impact it has in the eCommerce industry.