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Your strategy for dealing with web bots has to take into accout business context

Renny Shen, senior product marketing manager, Akamai’s Web Experience & Security Division | Sept. 5, 2016
Simply blocking all bot visits can end up hurting your business

Just as you would expect, Fashiola keeps up with the changing products and prices across the brands they index using automated bots. Fashiola, and other sites like it, prove that employing a simple black-and-white approach to bots is no longer possible. The traditional approach of blocking bots by default, while whitelisting a few known good bots, assumes that you know all the bots that are good. But when the number and diversity of good bots are changing daily, organizations can’t possibly keep track of them all. A default posture of blocking bots risks missing rapidly changing consumer behavior and not participating in new business models, thereby shutting the door on incremental sales.

When it comes to bots, context matters. Consumers, partners, competitors, and others are interacting with you and your website in new and different ways than before. Because of that, blocking bots as a default strategy is more likely than ever to hurt the business – and in unpredictable ways.

Good, bad, or somewhat grey, managing bots should start with the business context that bots have and consider the role they play in your online strategy. By deploying more appropriate management actions to better manage bots, you can harness the positive ways in which they can help your business, while minimizing the negative ones.


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