Most Web Traffic Comes From Bots

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Feb. 14 2014 11:06 AM

Less Than 40 Percent of Web Traffic Comes From Humans

statistainfographic_1894_globalwebsitetrafficbysource
Only 38.5 percent of web traffic is generated by humans.

Chart by Statista.

No matter how much we expand the digital corners of the Internet, it still feels like a very human place. There are people talking and arguing everywhere, people working, people sharing feelings, and people selling stuff. Humans even are even responsible for @horse_ebooks. But if you're looking at traffic analytics that human vibe is misleading, because 61.5 percent of all Web traffic comes from bots.

Statista made this chart based on data from the cloud application platform Incapsula. It's pretty weird to think that only 38.5 percent of Web traffic is generated by humans, but given the search engines and other indexing tools shuffling through the cobwebs of the Internet all the time, it makes sense.

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The chart differentiates between "good" bots like search engines and analytics tools, and "bad" bots like scam advertisements, scrapers, hacking tools, and spam bots (hacking and spam make up 5 percent of total traffic). It's troubling that bot traffic is evenly split between 31 percent "good" and 30.5 percent "bad," but throw humans in there and things start to even out. Maybe humans need a Take Back the Internet rallying cry.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.