Online Advertising and Fraud

Criminal activity has a way of adapting to the times or rather staying ahead of them. The kind of activity you see online with spam, scams, etc. is quite tough to measure.

Click bots, parked domains and other clever dark side forces of the online advertising ecosystem have long plagued the industry. Some of the bigger players in the space such as Google have put in a lot of time and money in trying to control these practises, which will never fully disappear.

The above fact was rudely impressed upon us through some of our campaigns. Even the top new firms with millions of dollars to play seem to struggle with this. Let’s take examples, a typical display advertising click through rate or CTR is around 0.1%, can be higher or lower but is typically not higher than 1%. This means 1 person clicked on one ad for every 100 ads that were served (to different people).

45%!! That’s a CTR that shouldn’t be possible and which smells of automated click bots. It’s this kind of trouble which keeps campaigns from performing well, as money gets siphoned off. Its amazing how widely this still exists even today.

RTB is changing the marketplace for ads, but for a shift in marketing focus to digital, more clean up has to happen and transparency has to achieved. 


Moving to the new town

Well, it wasn’t that hard and definitely not heartbreaking but I did feel a little lonely when I landed in the new town that was to be my home for a while. I was leaving Chennai\Madras\City I had lived in for almost all my life and moving to Hyderabad. Reason for hometown betrayal? A huge multinational firm called Google had asked me to join its fold. The lure of a new life and the experience of working with THE search guys proved irresistible. I flew to Hyderabad in a propeller jet, ATR-72 I think, a new experience in itself. Small and shaky the plane seemed to tell me that my taking flight would not be without turbulence.
Awaiting me in Hyderabad was my chauffeur for the evening. Or so I thought. A few calls later, it turned out the gentleman was waiting at a totally different location and the fact that neither spoke a common language didn’t help much. Eventually we did manage to pull off the multilingual challenge. I then arrived at Luxor Inn, my home for the next two weeks. I hit the sack at around midnight hoping to catch a few hours of sleep before heading to my new office..

Next post.. First day at work and the days that followed

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