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BizReport : Advertising archives : October 01, 2012

Solve Media: Bots responsible for 10% of online traffic

Solve Media has revealed details of a 20-month study that found an estimated 10% of all online traffic isn't generated by humans - it's the result of bot activity.

by Helen Leggatt

client-logo-solveMedia.pngRobots, or bots as they're often referred to, are software programs designed to conduct tasks online, often repetitive tasks. For example, bots are instrumental in indexing sites such as Google.

However, there are malicious bots, too, such as those that post comments, create fake accounts, buy up large numbers of concert tickets or click on an online ad.

Using a proprietary algorithm to analyze ad impressions, Solve Media was able to identify malicious bot activity. Their latest analysis reveals an estimated 10% of all online traffic isn't human.

Based on eMarketer's recent estimate that $15.3 billion will be spent globally on online ads in 2012, bots could be wasting $1.5 billion of ad spend.

"The existence of non-human traffic is an issue that affects the entire digital ad ecosystem," said Kirby Winfield, SVP of Corporate Development, comScore. "comScore research has shown that a significant percentage of ad campaigns are delivered against non-human traffic, which represents waste for advertisers that can diminish their confidence in the medium."

According to Solve Media's study, the U.S. generates the largest amount of bot traffic (16%).

Tags: ad clicks, ad spend, bots, internet traffic, malicious software, online advertising

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