Traffic fraud costs marketers billions of dollars in wasted ad spend annually. Ever since it emerged out of the pay-per-click model in the late 1990s, traffic fraud has evolved into a constant game of cat and mouse — creating real and expensive problems for advertisers, agencies, intermediaries and publishers.
Traffic fraud has changed a lot over the last 20 years. Originally, fraudsters hired actual humans to click on search and display ads (remember click farms?), but it was expensive to scale so they began building scripts that simulated humans clicking on ads. Today, the fake-impressions business has grown more sophisticated, with hidden and laundered impressions being sold to unsuspecting advertisers through a number of sophisticated technologies.
Originating with search ads, and making its way to display, ad fraud has matured and bled its way into the highly lucrative online video ad landscape — and for good reason. The sheer volume of budgets flowing into digital video — U.S. marketers will spend nearly $6 billion on video ads this year and nearly $13 billion in 2018 — has made it a key target for traffic fraud perpetrators. Fraudulent bot traffic (i.e., fake visits to websites from computer bots) was reported to drive 36% of all online traffic, according to the IAB.
Source:: AdAge – Digital