The Tech News Blog

December 13, 2013

Bots Make Up 61.5 Percent of Web Traffic

Bot Traffic

Bot traffic was on the rise in 2013, with approximately 61.5 percent of all website traffic produced by "non-human entities," according to a report from Incapsula.

The good news is that 31 percent of that bot traffic is from legitimate sources, like search engines crawling the Web for content to index. Incidents of scrapers, hacking tools, and spammers did not see any huge jumps this year, but the "other impersonators" category - which includes those with malicious intent - was up 8 percent.

Altogether, about 31 percent of bots are still malicious, but there are much fewer spammers, with activity dropping from 2 percent last year to 0.5 percent in 2013.

"The most plausible explanation for this steep decrease is Google's anti-spam campaign, which includes the recent Penguin 2.0 and 2.1 updates," Incapsula said, referencing Google's bid to surface "high-quality" content on the Web. "SEO link building was always a major motivation for automated link spamming. With its latest Penguin updates Google managed to increase the perceivable risk for comment spamming SEO techniques, while also driving down their actual effectiveness."

Incapsula said Google was able to produce a 75 percent decrease in automated link-spamming activity.

Still, the firm found evidence of more sophisticated hacker activity, with about 20.5 percent of Web traffic originating from those who fell into the "other impersonators" category, an 8 percent jump.

This group "consists of unclassified bots with hostile intentions," Incapsula said. "The common denominator for this group is that all of its members are trying to assume someone else's identity," like a search engine bot. But "the goal is always the same - to infiltrate their way through the website's security measures."

November 11, 2013

Netflix, YouTube Dominate North American Internet Traffic

Nefflix Logo

Netflix continues to dominate downstream traffic in North America, a phenomenon that - together with YouTube - has contributed to a significant drop in peer-to-peer traffic over the past few years.

According to a new Internet traffic report from Sandvine, Netflix was the top downstream application in North America in the second half of the year, making up 31.6 percent of traffic on fixed networks. YouTube came in at 18.6 percent, meaning that together they accounted for more than 50 percent of that downstream traffic.

Sandvine noted that Netflix's share of traffic decreased slightly from its study earlier this year. But Sandvine warned that this "should not be interpreted as a decline in the dominance of the service at the expense of their competitors."

"In fact, the bulk of data collection for this report occurred before Netflix made SuperHD content available to all subscribers, regardless of the service provider," Sandvine said. "Based on initial findings from customers, we expect Netflix share to return to or even surpass its previous heights."

During a recent earnings call, Netflix revealed that customers streamed about 5 billion hours of content during the third quarter, up from 4 billion in April.

YouTube traffic, meanwhile, was up about 9 percent from the first half of the year. Sandvine suggested this was due to increased use of smartphones and tablets on home Wi-Fi networks.

Rivals like Amazon Video and Hulu were far behind with 1.61 and 1.29 percent of downstream traffic, respectively.

Interestingly, Sandvine suggested that YouTube will need to boost its servers if it wants to truly compete with the likes of Netflix. Sandvine noted two "pronounced dips" in YouTube quality on a typical day: during the evenings and during the lunch hour.

July 23, 2013

Google Makes Up 25 Percent of North American Internet Traffic

google logo

If there was ever any question that Google is on a different level of popularity than most companies could ever dream of, new data confirms it.

The Web giant now accounts for nearly a quarter of all Internet traffic in North America, according to a new report from cloud intelligence and analytics firm DeepField. That's up from 6 percent in 2010.

Moreover, more than 62 percent of all Internet-connected devices and users in North America exchange traffic with Google's servers during the course of an average day. To put this in perspective: "Google is now bigger than Facebook, Netflix, and Twitter combined," DeepField founder Craig Labovitz, wrote in a blog post.

Interestingly, Netflix has a larger bandwidth than Google, but DeepField noted that the video streaming company peaks for just a few hours each evening during primetime hoursand during cache update periods in the early morning.

DeepField's analysis includes computers and mobile devices as well as hundreds of varieties of game consoles, home media appliances, and other embedded devices. The data is based on Internet traffic flowing through DeepField's network of North American service provider partners.

May 30, 2012

Internet Traffic to Reach 1.3 Zettabytes by 2016

If you're not sure what a zettabyte is, then listen up. It's equal to a million terabytes, a trillion gigabytes, or a whopping 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 individual bytes.

And here's why it's important. By 2016, global Internet traffic is expected to reach a staggering 1.3 zettabytes annually, according to a new report from Cisco. To put that into perspective, it's the equivalent of 38 million DVDs per hour. The network equipment maker predicts that monthly Internet traffic in 2016 will be four times the level seen in 2011.

Cisco says that several main factors will contribute to the staggering growth in Internet traffic: an increasing number of devices, more Internet users, faster broadband speeds, and more video. By 2016, there are expected to be some 3.4 billion Internet users, or about 45 percent of the world's projected population. And the proliferation of tablets and smartphones will drive up the number of network connections to nearly 19 billion, or the equivalent of 2.5 connections for each person on earth.

"Each of us increasingly connects to the network via multiple devices in our always-on connected lifestyles," Suraj Shetty, vice president of product and solutions marketing at Cisco, said in a statement.

All those Internet users, with all their Internet-connected devices, are also going to need faster broadband, and want to watch more online video. The average broadband speed is expected to increase fourfold, from 9 megabits per second (Mbps) in 2011 to 34 Mbps in 2016, Cisco predicted. And, 1.2 million minutes of video, or the equivalent of more than two years worth, will be consumed every second.

Users are also going to rely on Wi-Fi more in the future. By 2016, over half the world's Internet traffic is expected to come from Wi-Fi connections.

May 4, 2012

iPad Makes Up 95 Percent of Tablet Web Traffic

The iPad secured 68 percent of the tablet market during the first quarter, according to recent stats, so it should come as no surprise that most of tablet-based Internet traffic is coming from Apple's gadget.

But just how much traffic? According to data from Chitika, the iPad accounts for almost 95 percent of all tablet Web traffic.

"In conducting this analysis, we queried our vast ad network for impressions stemming from a tablet of any sort. From there we sorted our data into categories of the various tablet devices," the company said in a Friday blog post. "As we had hypothesized, the iPad was overwhelmingly dominant versus the competition."

What about the remaining 5 percent? The Samsung Galaxy Tab made up 1.22 percent, followed by the Asus Transformer Prime, Motorola Xoom, BlackBerry Playbook, Amazon Kindle Fire, and the Barnes & Noble Nook, which landed at 0.53 percent (click chart below for more).

January 12, 2012

Microsoft Bing Beats Yahoo in Search Queries for the First Time in December

comScore on Thursday released search engine data from December 2011, with Bing surpassing Yahoo in the number of search queries for the first time.

However, Google sites, of course, continued to reign supreme, gobbling up 65.9 percent of search queries conducted in December, up 0.5 percent from November.

Microsoft's Bing came in second, though not exactly a close second, claiming 15.1 percent of searches in December, a slight increase from the 15 percent it took home the previous month. Yahoo saw a decline from November to December, slippling from 15.1 percent in November to 14.5 percent in December, which allowed Bing to leapfrog Yahoo for the number two spot.

Rounding out the top five were Ask Network and AOL, hanging steady with 2.9 percent and 1.6 percent of search queries respectively.

comScore classifies these searches as "excplicit core searches," which means they "exclude contextually driven searches that do not reflect specific user intent to interact with the search results."

July 28, 2011

Traffic to Google+ Declines, Report Shows

Google Plus Logo

Google+ has had a strong first month, but it's possible some of the novelty has worn off. According to stats from Experian Hitwise, traffic to Google+ has taken a dip in the last week.

According to Hitwise, total visits to the new social network dropped to 1.79 million for the week ending on July 23, a three percent decline from the previous week's 1.86 million total visits. The amount of time people spend on the site has also decreased by 10 percent, to five minutes and fifteen seconds from five minutes and 50 seconds the week before.

Hitwise noted that most of the traffic to Google+ (59 percent) came from other Google-owned properties. drove 37 percent of traffic to G+, while Gmail was responsible for 15.59 percent of traffic, a nine percent increase from the last week.