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Who's Numbers do you trust? The problem of skewed ad impressions.

IStock_000012105303SmallAdAge Digital posted an article:

Fake Pageviews Cost Online Advertisers More Than $6 Million Per Month

Hijacked Computers Generating Billion of Fake Ad Impressions Monthly

London-based startup Spider.io, which helps publishers and advertisers identify legitimate web traffic, has discovered a ring of more than 120,000 hijacked computers that have been flooding websites with fake traffic and in turn costing advertisers more than $6 million per month, the company said in post on its blog. Called the Chameleon botnet, this cluster of computers typically generates more than nine billion illegitimate ad impressions across 202 websites monthly.

Spider.io, which said it has been tracking the Chameleon botnet since December 2012, found that 95% of the machines involved access the internet from residential IP addresses in the United States. Each bot within the network of computers resembles a group of web users concurrently visiting one the 202 implicated websites. In a typical month, the botnet accounts for at least seven million ad-exchange cookies.

You can read the full article here.

Granted, we are only talking about 202 websites, but how many ads are on those sites and who is behind those ads and their placement? Hope it isn't one of YOUR ads. That would be awful. You'd be paying for more fake results, goes with our post about fake and automated networking on LinkedIn.  Feels different when you may be the victim and have to pay, doesn't it? How is it very different from automatically posting status updates without engaging? Shoe is just on the other foot. Think of your advertising dollars as minutes. Would you want to waste precious minutes every day thinking you are engaging your target audience, sincere prospects, etc.? Of coruse not.

If you run advertising campaigns, be they over mobile devices, print ads in publications, direct mail, direct email - check out the numbers. How do they arrive at the number of delivered "impressions." We receive three yellow pages each year - 3. If I get outside quick enough, before the children come home from school, I toss them right into the recycle bin. They have been delivered, the company has an automated call asking me to push 1 it was delivered and 2 if it was not. If I push 2 because I tossed it, I receive another set. If I push 1, that number is reported to the advertisers to prove value. If I don't make it out to the trash in time and my children find the books, they become sleds down the stairs due to the slick cover.

You need to understand the numbers claimed BEFORE YOU pay or commit to another season or advertising period.

Susan Finch, Chief Ranter

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