Bots will waste $12 billion worth of digital advertising this year, says Solve Media

More than 60 per cent of all the web traffic in the US in the last quarter of 2013 was suspicious according to Solve Media’s Bot Traffic Advisory report. 

The problem is not restricted to the US. Globally, Solve Media says almost $12 billion dollars of digital advertising will be wasted due to the bots.


Indeed the amount of suspicious web activity grew 40 per cent year on year, and the outlook for mobile is likewise troubled, although the growth rate – at 30 per cent was not quite so bad.

According to Ari Jacoby, CEO of Solve Media, “With the holiday season comes an increase in advertising spend. It’s not surprising that there was a spike in suspicious traffic in Q4. With US advertising budgets expected to top $182 billion by 2015, brands and publishers must both commit to adopting fraud prevention measures now.

“Aggressive botnet operators are not only stealing marketers’ hard fought budgets, they’re also creating false results on campaign performance. This inaccurate data is being utilized to drive future optimization decisions, compounding the problem,” said Jacoby.

The outlook in the rest of the world it also problematic. According to the reports authors, “Globally, Southeast Asia, China and Eastern Europe had the highest levels of bot traffic – specifically, Singapore and Taiwan in Southeast Asia, and Poland, Lithuania and Romania in Eastern Europe.”

On the upside, Solve has noted an uptick in publisher responses to bot fraud. “34 per cent of online publishers surveyed said that they would be implementing anti-bot solutions in 2014, representing a 125 per cent year-over-year increase. Based on current levels of bot traffic, the global display advertising industry is expected to waste up to $11.6B in 2014 advertising to bots – a 22 per cent increase from 2013.”

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