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.