Web scraper bots are deployed to automate the process of reading a site’s content. This activity is both beneficial and harmful to classified ad sites.
Classified ad sites benefit from scraper bots initiated by search engines, aggregation sites and social media platforms deploy these bots to automatically obtain and summarize content to their site visitors and customers. This provides classified ad sites with SEO rankings, site traffic, branding exposure and revenue opportunities.
Competing classified ad sites also utilize web crawler bots to obtain comparison data and listing. This makes it easy for rivals to steal customers by offering more attractive alternatives, undercutting special offers and garnering auxiliary sales that they would not otherwise make.
How Malicious Bot Attacks Work
Hackers will deploy generalized bots, which perform a scan of a website and online infrastructure looking for vulnerabilities they can penetrate. On the surface, these “crawler bots” appear harmless, behaving in a similar manner Googlebots. They simply crawl a site, page by page reviewing its content. This first stage, reconnaissance work, enables cybercriminals to automate their penetration testing in bulk. The resulting vulnerabilities are categorized and targeted through custom bots designed to penetrate the specific vulnerabilities.