Digital Publishers’ Fight Against Non-Human Traffic: to Block or Not to Block?

Digital Publishers’ Fight Against Non-Human Traffic: to Block or Not to Block?

SUMMARY

According to the IAB, digital fraud costs advertisers $8.2 billion each year.  In fact, 78% of publishers are victims of non-human traffic (NHT).

To date, the dominant approach to addressing fraud has been largely reactive: a reputable third-party measurement company, or even an agency, audits a publisher’s traffic and, if fraud is detected, reports on the percentage that is non-human traffic (NHT). If that percentage is unacceptably high, advertisers are free to block that publisher or sources of media from future campaigns or simply not pay for NHT the traffic.

 The reactive approach accepts fraud as inevitable; a scourge the industry must learn to live with. But is it? To find out, we designed a quantitative and qualitative survey that probed specific questions, such as:

  • Are sellers of media (aka “publishers”) perpetrators or victims of fraud?
  • If acquiring traffic is a legitimate business tactic for building an audience, what can be done to make this practice safer? 
  • Is a reactive approach to fraud (i.e. auditing traffic reports post fraud detection) really the best way to tackle the issue?
  • What redress do publishers have when accused of fraud, either by an advertiser or by a third-party measurement company?
  • What is the ROI of taking an aggressive approach to fraud?
  • Can that $8.2 estimate amount of NHT in the market be isolated into a per site amount and a per campaign amount so that relevant investment decisions can be made to tackle it?

Download