Non-humans rule the web

The rise of the robots is continuing with more than half of the world’s web traffic not sent by someone with a pulse.

Cloud-based service, Incapsula, worked out that 51 percent of website traffic is through automated software programs. Most of them are botnets or spam.

Only 49 percent of any site’s visitors are genuine humans. Most of it is non-human traffic mostly invisible due to not being recognised by analytics software.

The breakdown of average traffic is five percent of hacking tools looking for an unpatched or new vulnerability within a site, five percent from scrapers who are stealing email addresses for spam email lists, reverse engineering of pricing and business models, two percent from automated comment spammers, 19 percent from “spies” collating competitive intelligence, 20 percent comes from search engines and 49 percent from actual humans.

Co-founder of Incapsula, Marc Gaffan, said that few people realise how much of their traffic is non-human, and that much of it is potentially harmful.

As you might expect, he claims that all this was proof that the cloud was a pretty good thing. Because Incapsula has thousands of websites as customers, it is possible to spot exploits ahead of others and it can then block them for all its customers, Gaffan said.