Ask most marketers about the state of digital advertising, and they’ll tell you it’s come a long way. From the rise of mobile to the seemingly inevitable virtual reality takeover, digital advertising is advancing. But, there’s one area where it’s still lacking: fraud detection and prevention.
You have a successful blog, or at least you’re working on making it a successful blog. You’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into selecting the perfect template, ideal color scheme, and a font that is clean and crisp with a bit of personality. This blog represents you or your company, so I hate to be the bearer of bad news: you’re vulnerable, and could be losing a percentage of your paid and organic website traffic to fraudsters.
Previously, we talked about all the different types of bots that are crawling the web. While some bots are actually helpful in catching content thieves and crawling pages for search engines, there are also plenty of malicious bots out there. Bad bots can generate false ad impressions, serve spam and malware, and steal content and information. So, you know these bots are bad, but how exactly are those bots hurting your website?
In 2015, internet bots made up for only a little less than half of online traffic. Of that, anywhere from 18% to 29% of the traffic was from bad bots, and only 19% to 27% was from good bots. Smaller websites tend to think they’re immune to bot traffic, but the harsh reality is, the smaller the website, the higher the chance of being visited by bots, both good and bad.
Advertisers lose over $6 billion annually due to ad fraud. Within that is click fraud -- humans or bots that click on a website’s online advertisements without the intention of making a purchase or taking further action.
Click fraud, a type of pay-per-click internet fraud, is becoming more robust within the digital marketing landscape. Click fraud happens when users -- or bots -- intentionally click on a link with the purpose of charging someone for the click. Often times, they have no interest in the end result, causing a catastrophic impact on agencies, eating away at client budgets and negatively impacting performance.
Ad fraud. It’s a dirty phrase our industry just can’t seem to shake. It’s sneaky, outwardly hiding in some of the most transparent of places and sometimes it’s right out there in the open. But, as out in the wild as we believe it to be, you might be surprised how many marketers are unsure of the true effects of ad fraud on their business long term.
Google defines evil as “profound immorality, wickedness, and depravity.” Go ahead, Google it. That’s what it says.
In part one of our online advertising fraud series, we learned that advertisers waste over $6 billion a year in fraudulent advertising spend. Fraudulent accounts are abundant, and with good reasons: there are no rules, no consequences, and no regulations for their actions.