Monday, September 28, 2015

The Low Quality Ad Traffic

This week's feature on Bloomberg Businessweek is an investigative article that asks the question - "How Much of Your Audience Is Fake?"

We've learned in our recent classes that advertisers should bid high on keywords to get ahead of competition, but it turns out the quality of audience is also a huge component in the clearing price of ad placement auctions.  It turns out, in this wild west of advertisement, what you pay is what you get.  Whereas quality "human"-initiated Google keyword search may cost several dollars per ad click to the advertisers, brokered traffic can be bought for often less than $0.01 per click.  However, the article uncovers that some of the shady source websites that sells supposed "visitor" traffic through brokers  are in fact massively inflating its unique visitor counts via automated programs that run behind servers and infected desktops.  These sites often have just enough stale and outdated contents to appear like a badly managed website, but as much as 95%+ of its visitorship could be non-human.

Google and Facebook are listed as some of the safer bets for advertisers where there are much higher likelihood of a real person behind the screen.

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