The latest (April 2019) data from Data Reportal tells us Global internet users grew by 8.6 percent over the past 12 months, with 350 million new users contributing to an overall total of 4.437 billion by the start of April 2019.
So, if you take a look at this additional piece of 'research' it's interesting to see how much of that growth 'might' be attributed to 'non-human' behaviours.
20% of the 51% non-human traffic is' good', the 31% majority of this non-human traffic is potentially malicious. says research funded by a cyber security firm, so for obvious reasons treat the numbers as directional rather than literal.
However, what I did find interesting, maybe you will also, is the breakdown of the sample size (1000 websites) used in relation to our perception of all that traffic that whizzes around the internet, and in particular how it skews all those analytics we all rely on so much, it also helps to put into perspective the ongoing and growing problem with 'ad fraud'.
There's some potentially scary numbers, and also some numbers to help ground ourselves, highlights as follows.
The study is based on data collected from 1,000 websites that utilize Incapsula’s services, and it determined that just 49% of Web traffic is human browsing. 20% is benign non-human search engine traffic, but 31% of all Internet traffic is tied to malicious activities. 19% is from ” ‘spies’ collecting competitive intelligence,” 5% is from automated hacking tools seeking out vulnerabilities, 5% is from scrapers and 2% is from content spammers.
It all depends on your own perspective I suppose, but as guy whose now developed an extremely cynical view around the intrusive digital advertising industry where 'ad tech' companies currently number at 7000+ I was intrigued to read that there's still enough of whats termed 'real human' activity' for us to be comforted that not everything we do in cyber space is ran by bots, click farms, and hackers.
We all know that bots are there to speed up query related interactions, and these are also included in the research, we also know that AI is looking to try and remove us from, well, literally anything, but I thought it also worthwhile remembering that 'humans' are the key USP for any technology to work.
Which for me reinforces even more the power of human interactions on 'social media', because being social is what makes us human after all.
Just 49% of Web traffic is human browsing.