Google announced Friday the acquisition of Spider.io, a company that spent the past three years building systems and technology to fight online fraud -- not just protecting brands and consumers from malware and botnets when clicking on ads or downloading content, but developing methods around viewability and authentication.
Douglas de Jager, Spider.io founder, and the entire team will join Google's ad fraud group to ensure that media buying remains safe and that ads reach real people. This means fighting fraud head on.
Several patents that de Jager has coauthored support the fight. One provides a method to determine whether a page is viewable through a browser window; and another describes a system where one or more client devices access Web servers over a network, a classification server is provided to assist in identifying the nature of the agent controlling the client devices.
Google turned away millions of applicants last year from sites looking to join its network because of suspected fraudulent activity, per Neal Mohan, VP of display advertising
Mohan explains: "Our immediate priority is to include their fraud detection technology in our video and display ads products, where they will complement our existing efforts."
Long term, the Spider.io team will help improve the metrics that advertisers and publishers use to determine the value of digital media and give all parties a clearer, cleaner picture of what campaigns and media deliver strong results. The goal is to improve the entire online ecosystem.
When it comes to online advertising and content across the Web, de Jager has spent years focusing on the safety of brands and consumers, striving to push the adoption of quality ad inventory, common terminology, and best practice standards.
During a 2012 interview, de Jager said "Google's efforts will soon make advertisers come to treat ad viewability as a requirement." And they did.