New Findings Expose Huge Risks for Online Advertisers
These problems must leave marketers wondering if their ads will actually appear on the browser screen, or in some unseen area. And, will a paid advertisement actually be viewed by a live person, or a bot? Such questions are troubling for the digital advertising ecosystem because they undermine the real value of every advertising purchase. This concern affects marketers across all industries, including e-commerce, retail, electronics, travel, entertainment and beyond.
Obviously, advertisers should take steps to guard themselves. At the same time, trade groups including the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the American Association of Advertising Agencies should implement tough new standards to crack down and hold publishers more accountable for buying fraudulent traffic.
Until that happens, marketers will need to find their own means to stay ahead of this problem and identify any offending ads in the pipeline. New software tools are available that can spot suspicious interactions, including ads that are consistently clicked at the same time of day. Such patterns should be red flags because humans are more likely to click on ads at random times.
Until the industry can take preventive actions, the burden remains on marketers to monitor ad campaigns for their effectiveness, and to understand the behaviors of normal human interactions vs. interactions with malicious lines of code. Only in this way can the ad industry preserve the tremendous growth opportunity and economic momentum of digital advertising as it continues to mature and evolve in the years ahead.