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Non-human traffic more prevalent on video sites than display in UK, says ComScore

Non-human traffic is more common on video sites than display ad ones in the UK, according to new figures from ComScore out today.

In the UK, 89 per cent of ComScore's MMX top 100 properties which offer display advertising have low non-human traffic, which means the amount of bot-generated clicks on their sites are below 5 per cent of overall traffic.

More than a third of them (35 per cent) of them have sections with medium or high non-human traffic, meaning bot-generated clicks account for between five and 20 per cent and greater than 20 per cent of traffic respectively.

However, video sites fared less well for low-human traffic in the UK, with 64 per cent of the top sites averaging what ComScore has deemed a low rate of non-human traffic (five per cent), but 29 per cent of those featuring sections which have medium or high levels of bot-generated traffic.

Revealing the UK figures today at ISBA's annual conference in London, ComScore's senior vice-president of regional marketing Paul Goode said the UK's video sites are "markedly lower" in the UK compared to the US, whose video sites with sub five per cent non-human traffic is at 79 per cent.

"Given video is one of the most attractive areas for brand advertisers, that makes it a concern," he added.

He stressed the importance of brands addressing this to ensure their ad viewability rates – which refers to ad's position on a site and whether it is deemed in-view to consumers – are accurate.

"To measure viewability you need to remove fraud first. If you are not removing fraud numbers you may end up with a viewability score that says 80 per cent so the numbers you get back from agencies look great, but if you are not getting rid of the fraud then will see you are actually only seeing viewability of 55 per cent."

He also referenced brands including Kellogg's which have seen sales lifts as a direct result of running viewability trials, adding that brands will be willing to pay more for better quality inventory, as they will in turn see a consequential rise in sales.

The UK ComScore data was taken in January 2015 and spanned the top 100 sites including YouTube and broadcasters.