This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

#Digitalskeptic: Malware and Bots Are Murdering Web Advertising

NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Ari Jacoby is getting darn worn out of fighting the Internet advertising zombies all by his lonesome.

"Fifty percent of all ads are not seen by humans. And 50% of that traffic is nothing more than bots," Jacoby practically yelled at me over the phone. "It's insane."

The man's frustration is understandable. He's founder of Solve Media, a 43-employee advertising security firm that polices the Web for more than 7,000 advertisers and publishers checking that the people using Web ads really are people -- not some automated bot, malware or other sort of Web software zombie.

Must Read: What We're Expecting When the Government Defaults on its Debt

"That all means that only 25 some-odd cents of any ad dollar is going anywhere near a living person," he said. "Considering that bots cannot eat snack cakes and cannot drive cars off dealer lots, they don't add to the bottom line."

What's truly freakish about Jacoby's tales of Web advertising ghosts and ghouls is how blithe the Internet continues to be about advertising the automated threats Jacoby studies. He very articulately points out that even after 15 years of trying, the Web takes an almost grisly pride in caring not one bit about the automated criminal element in Web marketing.

"Shortly after organic SEO became a recognized marketing channel, problems with click validity arose," Jessie Stricchiola, founder of San Francisco-based search engine optimization firm Alchemist Media wrote in a company blog post.

Stricchiola goes on to say that click and automated ad fraud is in fact not only continual, but can spike in certain product types, verticals, keywords and bid prices.

There is "increasing evidence," Stricchiola said, "that the higher the bid price, the more rampant the click fraud."

Either way, Jacoby said, Web publishers and marketers simply covered the cost of non-human and fraudulent traffic. "Basically, it was all priced into the cost of a click," Jacoby said.

Brand advertising gets zombied
The laissez-faire attitude toward Web zombies began to change about two years ago when more sophisticated, so-called brand advertising dollars began to flow online. These types of brand advertisers are usually top-end marketers, such as carmakers and food companies. And since such ads are pricier investments for these advertisers, they become much fussier about where ads run, how they are viewed. And how well they perform.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.74 -1.15%
FB $117.58 0.73%
GOOG $693.01 0.29%
TSLA $240.76 -2.81%
YHOO $36.60 0.03%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs