Eight Out Of 10 Publishers Don't Know How Their Traffic Is Audited By Third Parties

As the bot and non-human Web traffic issue continues to spiral, a new survey out Thursday reveals that 80% of publishers concede they don’t have insight into how their traffic is audited by third-party providers.

In addition, the survey by The 614 Group and Distil Networks, found that 74% of publishers reported that traffic quality issues are part of pre-sales discussions, and 68% said they have received requests for information (RFIs) with acceptable non-human traffic (NHT) thresholds. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) projected that digital fraud costs advertisers $8.2 billion each year, due to the proliferation of NHT.

Publishers participating in the survey include AccuWeather, A&E Networks, Hulu, Thomson Reuters, and Univision. They shared their attitudes and experiences with NHT, both as an internal issue and as a discussion point with clients considering direct buys of their inventory.

“Ad agencies will stop paying publishers for NHT, yet only one-third of publishers are blocking nefarious NHT proactively,” Rami Essaid, co-founder and CEO of Distil Networks, said in a statement. “Monitoring fraud post-campaign isn’t the answer. Bot operators, and the NHT they generate, are only becoming more sophisticated," Essaid said.



Among the survey’s key findings:

--Most publishers (77%) are victims of NHT; yet only 38% purchase traffic, which suggests that NHT is getting onto their sites through other means—through no fault of the publisher.

--The cost of fraud is greater than the NHT that lands on a publisher’s site. It should also include consideration of the ad units purchased by advertisers in the open ad exchanges like synthetic user profiles created by “cookied bots.”  

--Publishers need to draw a connection between the $8.2 billion lost to fraud and campaign-level damage. Nearly 70%  of publishers believe it’s possible to calculate the ROI of effective anti-NHT efforts on a per-campaign and per-client basis.

--Seventy percent of publishers believe it’s possible to proactively block NHT before a page loads and before cookies are set, yet less than one-third of publishers take that approach.

1 comment about "Eight Out Of 10 Publishers Don't Know How Their Traffic Is Audited By Third Parties".
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  1. Craig Mcdaniel from Sweepstakes Today LLC, December 8, 2016 at 5:32 p.m.

    In one sense I say "cry me a river". Why?  In our direct sweepstakes ads, robots and electronic involvement cannot touch our text link ads.  Every one of our sweep ads are inputted by a real human. There is no automation involvement whatsoever.  In another way of viewing how we handle advertising is we hand customize all of our text link ads and now we have worked with an agency of WPP to include Videos that cannot be attacked by bots.  Here is the copy of the ad:



    This ad was hand created, hand inputted and cannot be attacked but bots or ad blockers. This ad has an ad to the video and then sweepstakes. Last the bots cannot touch the money involvement because we direct bill instead of automation.

    The real problem Toby is the market is nearly totally dependent on banners with automation, robots, and algorithms with no human involvement to the point that now it cost advertisers more than to use and trust real humans to do the work.  The basic core of the problem is never ever discussed on Media Post.  This is the banner is not necessary to have a successful ad campaign.  What is only needed is the coded URL text link within the advertisement. However this is not complex enough for the computer geeks.

    Correcting a big part of this problem so simple, it is stupid. There has to be human involvement between the advertisers, ad distributors and publishers just like years ago before the internet.  The issue is how more will it cost the advertisers before there is more real life human interaction and less bot automation?

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