Sunday, October 30, 2016

B2B Publishers: 3 Ways to Protect Your Digital Revenue from the Bots

As a B2B publisher, you recognize the revenue opportunities offered by growth in digital and programmatic advertising. However, with these opportunities come risks. Two articles highlight the carrot and stick that come with digital advertising.

In Advertising Age, George Slefo reports that spending on digital advertising in 2015 surged to an all-time high of $59.6 billion dollars. This represents a 20% increase over the record-setting numbers of 2015. Increases were driven by mobile advertising (up 66%) and social media (up 55%). Digital video also saw a substantial increase within display-related advertising, climbing 30% over the prior year. The Interactive Advertising Bureau presented this information in a report prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Non human traffic is stealing your money.

However, in an earlier article in Advertising Age (by the same author), a 2015 study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau estimates that nearly 14% of that amount—or $8.2 billion dollars—may be fraudulent. The sources for these losses are varied—non-human traffic, malvertising-related activities, and infringed content are the major causes determined by the IAB. Further, companies spend approximately $169 million each year combating this invalid traffic. But what may be less understood is the role that online publishers and content providers play in allowing this fraud.

Protect Your Content

As a B2B publisher, my company has developed three techniques for others to use to protect their content:
  • Stay human. Publishers must measure how much of their traffic is human. This is a constant need for vigilance, and it should be part of every measurement of usage on your site.
  • Find a partner. Third-party ad verification vendors offer checks and re-checks of your data. Use them to measure the accuracy of your reporting.
  • Assess and reassess. Review your campaigns in detail, especially for block traffic at suspicious times of the day or days of the week. If the traffic pattern looks suspicious, it probably is.
Fraudulent advertising results damage a B2B publisher's reputation and revenue stream. Be proactive in uncovering and eliminating fraudulent ad traffic--before your customers do it for you.

About the Author
Conor Lynch is an editor and publisher with Harborside Press. He is also in the Graduate Program on Information Design and Strategy at Northwestern University. He can be reached at @cplynch2310 or on LinkedIn.


  1. The use of digital web properties is growing however one need to be very careful as regards digital frauds & bots.

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