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Introducing Automatic Bot Filtering

By Thomas | Wednesday 15th February 2017

 

Bots, web crawlers, spiders, whatever you know them as, can be a real pain when tracking clicks on your online adverts and tracking links. In this blog post I'll briefly touch on what they are, why they cause a problem and what the solution is to keeping bots from muddying your campaign performance reports.

What are Bots and Web Crawlers?

A bot, also referred to as a web crawler or spider, is an automated system which browses the web and makes a copy of the content that it finds, a process called indexing. Web search engines such as Google and Bing use bots to find content online and list it in their search engine results. They're an important part of being able to easily find what you're looking for online.

Why are they a problem?

Whilst bots usually crawl the web without incident, they can be a nuisance when you're advertising online. Each time a bot comes across your advert or tracking link on a website it will follow it, causing a click to be tracked in your reports. This will artificially increase the number of clicks that you see in your reports and reduce your click-through rate (CTR), making it harder to judge the performance of your campaigns.

What's more, as a bot will never convert by completing your lead capture form or purchasing your product like a real user would, your conversion rate (CVR) and return on investment (ROI) are effected too.

What's the solution?

The solution is simply to ignore the bots so that your reports only show real users.

Most advertising and tracking platforms in the market put the onus on you, the marketer, to find what IP addresses and user agents (web browsers) the bots are using and to manually keep an updated list of which ones to block. This results in you having to spend time managing your bot blacklists. If a new bot appears or an existing bot changes the IP address that it is using, your reports are inaccurate again until you block it.

With Adzooma we decided to take a different approach. It's always been our mission to make digital marketing faster and easier, so asking our users to maintain their own bot blacklists wasn't going to cut it. Instead, Adzooma will automatically detect and ignore any bot when generating reports, giving you accurate reporting without the overhead of having to maintain a bot blacklist.

How do I get started?

Getting started is easy. Simply create an account and start advertising your site online. As Adzooma detects bots automatically, there's no need to set up a bot blacklist or run test traffic.