On average, 30% of the travel industry's website traffic is traced to web scraping bots, reports a study by Distil Networks.
The company [TLabs here], which provides content and web scraping protection for digital brands, has released an infographic which reveals:
- 50 million attempts by bots to access data of the Distil's travel customers
- About 150,000 scraper bots are detected in travel websites
- 57% of these bots are traced to customers ISP which makes it difficult to trace. This means that traffic from these ISPs can either be genuine or from a bot
- About 6% of these bots are traced to competitors
Rami Essaid, CEO and Co-founder of Distil Networks, says,
"Web scrapers target prices for competitive analyses, listing aggregation, and enforcement of pricing agreements.
"We’ve seen whole businesses built on web scraping. These businesses leverage content and data that they don’t own and siphon away value from multiple sources to build their own brand. This is how many meta search sites got their start.”
Content fuels a travel website, be it static (product description) or dynamic (price, inventory). Nobody wants their commercially viable content to be copied or taken without permission.
In 2011, Ryanair added a captcha layer to prevent bots from scraping its content. However, in 2012, 'somebody' went a step ahead and built RyanairPlus, a portal that displayed time and fare scraped from Ryanair.com. Apparently, now RyanairPlus redirects to Ryanair.