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Suspicious bot activity set to cost global advertising industry £6 billion in 2013


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

September 12, 2013 | 2 min read

Based on current levels of bot traffic, the global digital advertising industry is set to waste up to £6.04bn ($9.5bn) in 2013 advertising to bots, new research has found.

The research, carried out by Solve Media, found that in the UK, suspicious web activity has reached 44 per cent and suspicious mobile activity hit 32 per cent.

Bots crowd web, video and mobile traffic and cause advertisers to pay for impressions, views and clicks that are not being engaged with by real people

The company, which reviews a monthly average of over 230 million human verifications across more than 6,500 global publishers, has found that for the second quarter, bot traffic patterns remained consistent in a range of 24 per cent to 29 per cent for web advertising and 11 per cent to 14 per cent for mobile advertising.

Adam O’Donnell, chief architect, Cloud Technology Group at Sourcefire and Solve Media security council member, said: “Analysis has shown that bot traffic affecting the online advertising ecosystem has grown from 10 per cent to at least 24 per cent in less than a year. Protecting website publishers from automated submissions, spam, attacks, and other types of fraudulent activity must become a crucial industry priority.”

The Solve Media research revealed that China, Venezuela, and Ukraine had the highest levels of suspicious activity in the display category and Singapore, Macau and Qatar had the highest levels of suspicious activity in mobile.

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