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Huawei’s AspiegelBot (now PetalBot) is increasingly impacting European online stores

By Tom Ketels on Friday, 8 May, 2020

Huawei’s AspiegelBot (now PetalBot) is increasingly impacting European online stores

In this article

Over the past two months, the Huawei AspiegelBot has been crawling and indexing websites worldwide to gather information for Huawei’s (currently in beta) search engine app. We have been closely following the activities of the AspiegelBot because bots, crawlers and unwanted traffic can have a negative impact on the performance of online stores. On our Hypernode hosting platform, the traffic of the bot increased with 460% over the past month! That’s why we are going to block the bot by default on our platform in the upcoming weeks. We gladly share all the insights we gained about the Huawei search engine AspiegelBot in this blogpost.

The launch of the Huawei Search Engine

Huawei, the Chinese telecom and smartphone giant, has launched their own search service as they try to bounce back from being blocked from the Google ecosystem. The Huawei search engine app is in beta and provides basic search functionalities with news, image and video filters plus shortcuts for calculator, conversions, sports results and weather.

Of course, every search engine needs crawlers to index websites. As mentioned earlier, Huawei is using the AspiegelBot to do so. But what is the impact of this new bot? We continued our research…

Complaints about Huawei’s bot on Social Media and forums

While doing research about the Huawei AspiegelBot we’ve come across numerous people complaining about the “maniac” bot flooding their sites and online services being unavailable due to being overwhelmed by AspiegelBot’s traffic.

Bots, crawlers and unwanted traffic use resources. The more bots you have crawling and indexing your store, the more resources they will use. If you run out of resources there’s a higher chance of encountering downtime for your website. Therefore it’s advisable to reduce bots and crawlers to a minimum and limit crawlers to those you actively use, preserving your resources for the visitors that really matter.

Did you know?
Hypernode uses Linux’s OOM process killer to prevent downtime due to ‘out of memory’ events.

The impact of the AspiegelBot on our Hypernode platform

The graph below shows the activity of the Huawei AspiegelBot across our Hypernode hosting platform. The traffic of the bot increased with a stunning 460% over the past month.

This increase in traffic could mean AspiegelBot is taking up a lot of resources on your website and therefore might have a negative impact on the performance of your online store. This has led us to the decision to block the bot by default on our Hypernode platform in the upcoming weeks.

AspiegelBot morphed into PetalBot

We have been informed that last week the notorious AspiegelBot has morphed into the PetalBot. This PetalBot continues to be a very aggressive and unfriendly robot which does not respect the robots.txt file. The graph below shows the transformation in activity on our Hypernode platform.

If you have any experiences you would like to share about Huawei’s PetalBot, formerly known as the AspiegelBot, please get in contact with us. We would love to gather more information!

Hi! My name is Dion, Account Manager at Hypernode

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