What is a Bot?

A bot is a piece of software that is programmed to perform a specific list of tasks. Developers create a set of instructions that a bot will follow automatically without the developer needing to tell them to get started. Bots will perform repetitive and mundane tasks way faster than we can.

Various bots are continually crawling your website. Some of these bots are good and provide you with a valuable service. Other bots have more nefarious motives. Let’s take a moment to talk about what a bot is and the different types of bots.

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The Good Bots
Monitoring bots – Uptime Monitoring uses a bot to monitor your website’s uptime. The bot checks your website every 5 minutes to verify that it is still online. If your website is down, the bot will send you an alert so you can get your site back online.

Audit bots – Site Audit uses a Google Lighthouse bot to check the quality of your webpages. Another excellent example of an audit bot is a broken linker checker that will crawl your website looking for links that send you to a location that doesn’t exist.

Feeder Bots – An excellent example of a feeder bot is your podcast player. Your podcast player uses a bot to monitor the RSS feeds of the podcasts you subscribe to and alerts you when your favorite podcast releases a new episode.

Search Engine Bots – A Google web crawler is an example of a search engine bot. This type of bot will crawl your website looking for new or modified pages and creates an index of your website. Once Google or another search engine has an index of your website, they will be able to share your pages with the people using their search engine.

Security Bots – Security Site Scan uses a bot to compare the list of your installed plugins and themes against our vulnerability database. If you have a plugin or theme installed with a known vulnerability, the bot will automatically apply a patch if one is available.

The Bad Bots
Content Scraping Bots – These bots are programmed to download the contents of your website without your permission. The bot can duplicate the content to use on the attacker’s website to improve their SEO and steal your site traffic.

Spambots – Spambots are annoying. They will muck up your comments with promises of becoming a millionaire while working from home in the hopes of sending your visitors to malicious websites.

Brute Force Bots – Brute Force bots scour the internet looking for WordPress logins to attack. Once these bots land on a login page, they will try the simplest form of gaining access to a site: by trying to guess usernames and passwords, over and over again, until they’re successful

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About Nelsonecom
By helping clients understand digital communications and media we work together to effectively use and leverage the power of the Internet for their business objectives. This could be for sales, transactions, lead prospecting, building awareness, and more. We do both search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). Visual design, strategic digital communications and marketing, usability engineering, podcasting, and video are some of the services we offer. Others include eBusiness solutions, transactional processes, and digital media. We also monitor our clients’ sites analytics and make content, navigation, and other visual design recommendations. Our clients include small and medium successful offline businesses for whom we develop and use the online world as a part of their future success. Their industries include health, medical, politics, manufacturing, retail, financial, legal, restaurants, gaming, sports, water filtration, real estate, non-profit, and newly financed start-up ventures. In addition, we form partnerships with particular businesses to sell their products and or services online and via digital media.