Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Google charges for YouTube ads even when viewed by robots

An interesting article in today’s Financial Times shows that while Google takes advertising fraud very seriously and shows deep commitment in fighting it, digital marketers are far from absolute protection against fake views by bots, even against the primitive ones.

The article explains how European researchers’ findings “raise questions about whether Google is doing enough to protect advertisers from deception”, as an experiment recently showed that Google currently charges customers for YouTube views generated by a robot. The most striking aspect of the research is that the bots used in the experiment are not sophisticated at all. Ruben Cuevas, the lead-researcher in the experiment explains, “It’s not like we found a weird corner-case vulnerability. Anyone with a little knowledge of coding could do this kind of thing.”

Google could be the clear market leader now, but this also implies that Google is the primary target for such abuses. Google’s business model would be under a considerable risk if such researches continue to point out to similar findings. It will be interesting to see if security and anti-fraud issues will be a key competitive lever to shift the market dynamics.

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