Yahoo took another step Wednesday to improve advertising viewability and stop online ad fraud. It partnered with a host of third-party companies to support display and video advertising on Yahoo owned-and-operated properties, as well as media purchased across its programmatic buying platform.
Yahoo and its third-party measurement partners, comScore, DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science, Moat, among others, will independently validate for viewability and fraud across display and video at every stage of the campaign lifecycle. The companies will follow the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Media Rating Council (MRC) standards, bringing accredited reporting for ad viewability and traffic fraud to the digital advertising industry.
The new verification tools are available for display and video ads running on Yahoo's own site, as well as other sites on which Yahoo runs ads in the United States. But they are not available on Yahoo mobile search and ads bought through Yahoo Gemini, according to a Yahoo spokesperson, said Dennis Buchheim, VP product management at Yahoo.
Buchheim declined to quantify Yahoo's financial investment in reducing advertising bots on improving viewabilty, but explains in a prepared statement that the company "has been investing in viewability and fraud measurement solutions to increase trust between advertisers and publishers for some time now."
Numerous statistics show the challenges advertisers face with bots worldwide. A study from ANA and White Ops measuring 5.5 billion impressions in 3 million domains during 60 days estimate advertisers could lose $6.3 billion globally to bot traffic in 2015.
Nearly 31% of the mobile web traffic in China, per Distil Networks, was from bad bots in 2014, more than five times the level as in the rest of the world, eMarketer cites in a recent post.
Advertisers running campaigns with Yahoo will have an option to choose from a variety of measurement solutions to gain greater transparency into viewability to improve campaign performance. A recent report from the IAB recommends the campaign threshold should run at 70% to increase the performance of campaigns.
Throughout the years, the advertising industry as a whole has come under fire for not doing enough to stop bot traffic, increase viewability, and make online advertising a whole lot safer and more productive. In May, The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), an advertising industry initiative, announced plans to create a database of domains known to serve fraudulent bot traffic in digital ads.
In April, Google and Yahoo made separate announcements they would take steps to encrypt their respective ad networks to reduce bot traffic and other types of ad fraud, after Malwarebytes Labs released news of a slew of malvertising and bot traffic pledging the DoubleClick ad network.