The burden of proof is on publishers to defend their web traffic, yet 80% admit they don’t have insight into how their traffic is audited, raising questions about which traffic is non-human traffic (NHT). At the same time, marketers are no longer willing to pay for NHT, with 74% of publishers reporting that traffic quality issues are part of pre-sales discussions, and 68% stating they have received requests for information (RFIs) with acceptable NHT thresholds. This disconnect is leading to lost money and frustration for both advertisers and publishers.
These statistics are included in a new report from The 614 Group titled, “2017 State of Digital Publishers’ Fight Against NHT: To Block NHT or Not to Block,” and sponsored by Distil Networks, Inc., a provider of bot detection and mitigation. The report includes a survey of 40 of the comScore 250 publishers, including AccuWeather, A&E Networks, Hulu, Thomson Reuters and Univision, about their attitudes and experiences with NHT, both as an internal issue and as a discussion point with clients considering direct buys of their inventory.
The report brings to the fore the lesser known cascading negative effect of even nominal amounts of NHT. That is, the impact of bots collecting cookies on legitimate publishers’ sites, only to lure those advertising dollars away to nefarious players.