According to a recent study by Google internet marketer’s spent an estimated $15.3 billion on internet advertising this year; however the alarming thing that I found in this article was bots are eating up $1.5 billion of advertisers’ money. So to someone who is investing in PPC a campaign that’s nearly 10% of your yearly advertising budget!
A study conducted by Solve Media showed a 400 percent rise online in abnormal traffic across things like registration, voting, commenting and contact services since 2011. Another company, comScore, estimated that between 4 – 11% of ad impressions in the U.S. are being clicked and ran by bot traffic.
The Problem with Bots
You have to understand the problem with bots is they are automated; they crawl through sites clicking on webpages, ads, and impressions. This means someone who is advertising online is paying for impressions that have not been viewed by humans, let alone an actual consumer. Bots have also been known to steal content, post god awful comments, and of course my favorite; generate bogus user accounts these are then used to let loose other assorted bot assaults.
Anyone who has managed a WordPress or Joomla website knows these comments all too well. The most generic comments that work with almost every article because they are never specific, they tend to compliment your site, your writing skills, or the “oh wow great article I never thought of that before”. I’ll more than likely get about 10 of those comments on this post alone.
So, what say you? Well according to Online Media News, advertisers’ and publishers’ reputations are on the line as long as bots are functioning on websites. I tend to disagree with this statement; you should always set some margin aside for some difference in your sites traffic and advertising campaign. I like to keep it at around 10%.
Online Media News feels that adding an element that requires some interaction seems to work, this would include captcha’s and easy addition problems (2+2= ). This problem started during the 1990s, paid search, generally served on a cost-per-click basis and they experienced the rise of bot farms which of course became an issue. So now all we really need to do is wait for a company to come and solve the problem.