There have been lots of reports recently about the bots overrunning the Internet. They spam our social networks and our digital publications, and according to digital advertising and security firm Solve Media, bot traffic could cost digital marketers more than $11 billion in 2014.
The problem, according to the study, is that with the bots clogging the Web, advertisers are paying for impressions, views and clicks that aren’t from real people. Worse yet, malicious bots undermine web security and erode brand trust.
At more than 50 percent of US Web traffic, bots now outnumber humans. Forty one percent of surveyed marketers said these bots create inefficiencies, pilfer ad budgets and reduce campaign effectiveness.
Publishers are also aware of the cancerous effect of bot traffic and have plans to increase anti-bot solutions to the tune of 125 percent, the study says. Solve Media CEO Ari Jacoby says the negative impact of bot traffic can be stopped. Not only does he expect to see more publishers taking measures to ensure their audiences are human, he says more security roles will become part of brand and agency teams.
“Data-driven security measures that ensure human audiences are a key component to increasing effectiveness in the digital advertising market,” he says.
Solve Media provides a CAPTCHA security platform to help authenticate human engagement. However, many publishers are using social logins as a form of verification. According to Chris Wysopal, CTO of Veracode, a provider of application security and analytics, the data on bots should be a wake up call for unprotected publishers.
“We can no longer deny that bot traffic is eating away at the overall quality and effectiveness of our collective saleable audience. Think of it this way – a premium could be charged by publishers who commit to ensuring human verification of audiences,” he says.
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