These days, in technology and digital marketing circles, “ bots ” are a frequent source of discussion. Some people say they are necessary so that search engines can “discover” content. But it’s just as clear that bots, improperly used, can cause harm to websites, servers, and people’s computers. Recently, bots have been called out as a major problem for online advertising, with a recent Wall Street Journal article citing the fact that 33% of current online advertising traffic comes from bots. The term “malvertising” – a contraction of “malware” and “advertising” – is often used to describe this problem.
Whether they are good, bad or benign, the question remains, “What is a bot, exactly?”
The goal of this document is to help shed light on what has become the “boogeyman” of Internet advertising – “I’ve heard of it, people talk about, but I’ve never seen it” – by answering the following:
- What are bots?
- What do bots do?
- Should I be worried about being exposed to them by LotLinx or its affiliates?
- Does Google Analytics weed out bot traffic?
- How does LotLinx weed out bot traffic so I pay for Shoppers, not robots?
- What do I do if I think I detect bot activity in my reporting?
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