Leading Travel Website Optimizes Decision-Making With DataDome’s Real-Time Traffic Data

To make important product and business decisions, one of the world’s leading travel platforms relies extensively on visitor behavior data and real-time analytics. Undetected bot traffic can significantly skew that data, leading to suboptimal outcomes. Therefore, the company decided to replace its in-house traffic classification system with a specialized bot detection solution. After testing and comparing multiple vendors, they selected DataDome for its superior detection capabilities and user-friendly analytics dashboard.

It was one of the simplest integrations we’ve done, ever. Compared to our previous provider, the detection quality is night and day, and the UI console is leagues better than the competition.

VP of Engineering

The Problem: Bot Traffic Skews Business-Critical Visitor Data

For this global leader in the travel industry, high-quality traffic data is a business-critical asset.

“Our company is entirely built on traffic,” explains the VP of Engineering. “And when traffic is the key metric for your product shaping, your ability to trust that data is essential. We have seen over the years that tests can flip-flop based on what traffic they’re being exposed to.”

“So, if an appreciable percentage of your traffic is bogus, you don’t actually have that confidence level,” he pursues. “Bots whose behavior doesn’t reflect real product usage can drive us to make wrong decisions, and it can drive partners who depend on us to make wrong assumptions based on the traffic they’re getting.”

For several years, the company relied on a homegrown solution which simply classifies visitors as humans versus automated traffic. All automated traffic—good bots and bad bots—were lumped into the second category.

“The purpose was really to make the data that was leading product analytics more trustworthy,” explains the VP of Engineering. “But because it’s an offline process, it needs to synthesize a whole user session to be able to make that classification, and it struggled to keep up with the pace of a major web brand. We wanted to get closer to real-time analytics, generating the information we need as the requests are coming in.”

The Solution: Accurate, Easy-to-Integrate Bot Detection

The company has a rich relationship with its CDN provider, and initially decided to implement bot protection from the same provider. Before long, however, they had reached the end of what the product could be used for, so they started to research alternatives.

“In terms of what bots do to us, it’s all about that product analytics angle and getting accurate, real-time traffic data,” says the VP of Engineering. “Based on our evaluation, I’m not surprised to see DataDome at the top of the charts all the time. Compared to our previous provider, the detection quality is night and day.”

Besides the accuracy of the detection and traffic classification, ease of integration was another benefit of choosing DataDome.

“The solution needed to integrate out of the box with the technology we’re already using. We didn’t want to change our infrastructure to meet the vendor,” says the VP of Engineering. “DataDome worked out very nicely in that regard as well. In fact, it was one of the simplest integrations we’ve done, ever.”

The Results: Better Decisions & Stronger Security

For this global travel company, the main benefit of the DataDome solution is that it enables them to rely on accurate, real-time traffic data in their decision-making processes. An important element in that regard is DataDome’s dashboard, which provides users with extremely detailed traffic information along with multiple tools for drilling down and refining the analytics data.

“The UI console is fantastic—it’s leagues better than the competition,” the VP of Engineering compliments. “On the basis of what DataDome is providing, we can instantly know ‘this is definitely bad traffic; this is people, don’t worry about it; this traffic you’re going to want to look at’—it’s a really nice way of tuning our response to what’s happening and helping us understand.” 

“For example, let’s say we’re all of a sudden getting a lot of traffic from some faraway country, a random local search engine that we’ve never heard of. Well, there’s something for our traffic acquisition organization to have a think about. In the same way, if traffic suddenly goes away for some reason, the information is easily available.”

While accurate traffic data for analytics and product shaping purposes was the company’s primary motivation for implementing DataDome, the solution provides many other benefits. 

“Like any major web property, we’re constantly trolled with password lists; people trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t,” the VP of Engineering comments. “There’s an e-commerce aspect to our product and account takeover is a real risk, so it’s nice to get rid of that. We also deal with constant DDoS attacks, so having a facility that we can ask, ’Hey, is this a DDoS? Should we shut the gates on this network?’ is very useful.” 

“And finally, we’re in the process of evaluating migration to the cloud. Serving a whole bunch of bogus traffic would unnecessarily drive up those costs, so while this is a lower-level concern, it’s still a nice benefit,” he concludes.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from DataDome authored by DataDome. Read the original post at: