Overview

An Internet bot, or simply bot, is a software application that runs automated tasks (scripts) over the Internet. Some recordings in your Mouseflow account may be from bots. If you suspect that some of your recordings are indeed recordings of Bots please the list of possible indicators below.

The largest use of bots is in web spidering (web crawler), in which an automated script fetches, analyzes, and files information from websites.

Another popular use of bots is for testing. You can use bots to automatically visit a site using combinations of any number of OSs and browsers to ensure that the site works with all these possible combinations.

How do you recognize bots?

Generally, you can recognize Bot visits by one or more of the following indicators:

  • In playback, the mouse does not move from the upper left-hand corner

  • Often recordings of bots contain no mouse movements, clicks, or scroll events

  • Many bot visits last exactly 10 seconds

  • A large number of bots originate in Ashburn, Virginia (if you have a lot of visits from there that might be an indicator)

  • If they include Google search terms in the referrer (google stopped including search terms in their referrers in 2016 but some bots still include them)

  • Bots often use unusual Browser/OS combinations (so if you are seeing a visit where the browser is Opera 5.2 and the OS is windows 7 there is a high probability that this is a bot)

Should I exclude bots recordings?

For most people, bot visits have very little value so we recommend that you exclude them from being recorded to save recording credits. However, for some users it may be useful to see if your ad campaigns and/or sites are actually being visited by bots instead of actual visitors. This could give more insights into the effectiveness of an ad campaign or why no users seem to be converting.

If you would like to prevent bots from being recorded, you can easily do so by enabling our Bot Prevention Integration.

Preventing Bots

Mouseflow offers a built-in way to prevent bots from being recorded. To enable the Bot Prevention integration:

  • Then select the Bot Prevent App:

  • Once the dialog box loads, turn the toggle to 'enabled':

  • Press OK.

Once you have done so, the integration will begin excluding simple bots from being recorded by listening for mouse movements and mouse clicks.


Notes

Because the Bot Prevention Integration is pushed to the Mouseflow recording script - and this recording script is cached in the users' browser - it may take up to 24 hours before you see the full effect of the integration.

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