Press Release Analytics: How to Identify and Exclude Bot Traffic

Learn how you can exclude bot traffic to ensure accurate press release reporting.  

Tomas Meskutavicius

April 11, 2023

Bots - the pandemic of the internet.

According to the Bad Bot Report 2021 by Imperva, a leader in cyber security, 40% of internet traffic is not human. Per the report:

Bad bots have been leveraging the upsurge in online traffic due to the global pandemic. They are now more sophisticated than ever, mimicking human behavior in ways that make them harder to detect and prevent.

They allow bot operators, attackers, unsavory competitors, and fraudsters to perform a wide array of malicious activities. Web scraping, competitive data mining, personal and financial data harvesting, brute-force login, scalping, digital ad fraud, spam and transaction fraud are just a few of these activities.

So what are bots, exactly? And when it comes to your public relations and communications activities, such as press release distribution, how can you exclude bot traffic and ensure your reporting is correct? 

Keep reading to learn more.


What Are Internet Bots? 


Bots on the internet are machines that gather information automatically. Bots are classified into either “good” or “bad” based on the purpose the information is gathered for.

Examples of Good Bots:

  • Monitoring bots – Health checkers that monitor website availability and proper functioning of various online features.

  • Commercial crawlers – Spiders used for authorized data extractions, usually on behalf of digital marketing tools.

  • Search Engine Bots – Bots that collect information for search engine algorithms, which they use to make ranking decisions.

  • Feed Fetchers – Bots that ferry website content to mobile and web applications, which they then display to their users.

Examples of Bad Bots:

  • Impersonators – Bots that assume false identities to bypass security solutions. They are commonly used for DDoS assaults.

  • Scrapers – Bots used for unauthorized data extraction and the reverse engineering of pricing models.

  • Spammers – Polluters that inject spam links into forums, discussions and comment sections.

  • Hacker tools – Scavengers that look for sites with vulnerabilities to exploit for data theft, malware injection, etc.

So how have bots directly impacted companies and industries in recent times? 

According to the Imperva report, in 2020 telecom and internet service providers (ISPs) experienced the highest proportion of overall bot traffic (45.7%), often the result of bots involved in account takeover or competitive price scraping. 

Meanwhile, the travel industry saw the greatest percentage of sophisticated bad bot traffic (59.7%) while government sites also experienced an increase, with bots involved in account takeover, data scraping of business registration listings and voter registration.

When it comes to your PR and communications work, why does this matter? 

It’s important to use a press release distribution service that can tackle bot traffic and exclude bots from analytics to ensure accurate reporting to the C-suite and other key stakeholders. 


GlobeNewswire Press Release Distribution: How Notified Tackles Bot Traffic

Notified’s Newswire Analytics uses advanced digital fingerprinting technology each time a press release is viewed. 

By combining several unique, yet anonymous identifiers, we can accurately identify real human traffic vs. bot traffic, as well as prevent tracking the same person viewing a press release twice. Notified does not use any personal identifiable information (PII) in this process to stay compliant with global data protection laws, such as GDPR.

Additionally, we apply the same human recognition mechanisms to our newsrooms, as well as to third-party websites for an accurate, comprehensive report of viewership and readership.

Notified’s Newswire Analytics lets you track Total Views of your GlobeNewswire press releases, as well as a new and proprietary metric – Unique Readers – which displays only unique people that have read your press release, for a more accurate way to measure and report on press release performance. All press release reports from GlobeNewswire press releases published on January 1, 2022 or after will contain this Unique Reader data.

Thanks for reading!

About GlobeNewswire Press Release Distribution 

GlobeNewswire lets you share your news with media, investors and consumers around the world. Built for public relations, investor relations, marketing and agency professionals, GlobeNewswire gives you a wide range of options to help you build brand awareness, reach new audiences and drive earned media. Learn more today.