The Bot Pandemic Is Hurting Online AdvertisersBy: Zach Walton - October 2, 2012
Facebook advertising has had its fair share of problems. Major players like General Motors have pulled ads from the social network claiming that they don’t work. They eventually went back, but others have expressed similar frustrations. One such company, Limited Run, took it a step further and claimed that bots were responsible for 80 percent of their ad clicks.
Limited Run’s story is a reminder that bot traffic is growing across the Web. In fact, they may one day pose a threat to Internet commerce and advertising that relies of real human interaction. A new infographic from the folks at Solve Media sheds some light on the bot problem.
It’s revealed that the majority of bots come from the United States, but its Southeast Asia and the Middle East that have the highest number of bot traffic. Solve Media also found that bot traffic grew 26 percent across the Web since 2011. Now bot traffic takes up 10 percent of all traffic on the Web.
If the number of bots, including those that click in ads, it could lead to marketers and advertisers wasting anywhere from $612 million to $4.7 billion on ads that won’t reach a human consumer. So what’s a marketer to do to keep themselves from wasting money?
Solve Media suggests that marketers seek out publishers that take a hard stance against bots. Facebook has recently done this by deleting millions of fake accounts, which led to many brands have their total number of likes decreased by a sizable margin. They also suggest that firms implement tracking technology that will tell them if click traffic is coming from human or bot sources.