Along with trolls and Rickrolls, bots are the scourge of the Internet.
Automated clicks on ads and other web content drive down value, diminish investments and hurt integrity. And the bot problem only seems to be getting worse as technology advances. This summer, for example, a Long Island startup gained widespread attention after claiming that 80% of the clicks it paid for in Facebook ads came from bots and not humans.
But just how bad is the bot epidemic — and how can bots be beat?
The online advertising company Solve Media recently ran some analytics on the issue, and came up with a number of interesting results, which are presented in the following infographic.
Among Solve’s more interesting findings is that, while the United States may have the most bots in terms of sheer numbers, it actually has a lower rate of non-consumer traffic than some other countries. Some 16 percent of U.S. traffic is bot-based, according to Solve, but in Singapore that number is an astonishing 56 percent. In Taiwan, it’s 54 percent, and 43 percent in the Philippines.
That can mean a potential major loss of money for advertisers. Online display advertising will reach $15.3 billion this year, according to some estimates, so all that bot traffic means an overall potential spending waste by advertisers that reaches into the hundreds of millions of dollars at a minimum.
So what can you, online advertiser, do to defeat the bots? Looking for cost-per-engagement advertising opportunities, partnering with publishers who actively fight bot traffic and implementing tracking technology are three good ways to get started. For more, check out the full infographic below.
What are the best anti-bot measures you know of? Let us know in the comments.