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Robots don't wear deckshoes

by Jeni Bone on 5 Feb 2014
Robots don’t wear deckshoes . ©
Online audiences are huge and advertisers are following the traffic but its not all sweetness and light.

Are your internet advertising click thrus all coming from humans?

There are large numbers of 'bots' roaming the web that click on ads, these days, according to internet experts more than 2/3rds of the click thru's on ads, on many websites are not real at all.


Veteran Web consultant Michael Martinez says 'Robots can click on ads. Crawlers have been fetching JavaScript files at least as far back as 2004, possibly earlier. I first documented a crawler fetching JavaScript from one of my servers in 2004. '

In the well-respected Business Insider publication, reporter Charlie Minato tells of a company who discovered 80% of their paid click thrus were coming from bots’

These bots mimic human activity, only faster and they never sleep, or go to work or eat dinner. They often click on all the ads in an add deck in the space of a few minutes (unlike a human) and will then follow that link back to your site.

But unfortunately those robots don’t wear boat shoes, or wet weather gear, own boats or buy sails, but they do generate ever increase amounts of revenue for Pay per Click advertising, or give display advertisers a very false sense of the value of the Banner advertising revenue they are paying for.

Ray Jenkins the COO of UK advertising agency Affectv writing on The Wall UK talks about the massive problems of bots inflating click thru rates

'Firstly advertisers optimising towards single metrics like click-through rate (CTR %), will likely push agency and inventory suppliers/aggregators to gravitate towards placements dominated by click fraud and bots.

'Secondly, they should be challenging all their suppliers, on the processes and technologies they utilise to identify and reduce fraud. They should ask questions about what their agencies are doing to detect and reduce fraud.'

The largest sailing website in the world is Sail-World.com and today Publisher Rob Kothe commented

'Serious marine industry website like Sail-World.com take every possible step to block 'bots' from the advertising directories so that click thru's are real, sadly it seems many sites don't.

'And it’s pretty easy to tell it takes less than a minute for to check if the root directory on a site has the most basic blocking commands.

'It’s only the first part of the defences of a website but if that is not being done, analysts tell us it seems to be a pretty good indicator that the site owners are not discouraging robot click thrus. '

Lots of sites claiming high click thru rates show no evidence of the robot blocking commands, in the standard place they have to be.

So you commonly see comparison's with wildly different click thru rates, you might ask if the sites with the highest click thru rates how they block 'bots', if you get an answer like 'huh? Or, evasion or abuse, then you know the answer, then you can reasonably sure that in 2014 humans will represent about 1/3rd of the numbers, of the click thrus you see via Google Analytics or similar programs.


http://www.seo-theory.com/2013/04/18/can-robots-click-on-ads/

http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-accused-of-click-fraud-by-advertiser-2012-7

http://wallblog.co.uk/2013/12/09/enough-scaremongering-lets-deal-with-ad-fraud/
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