How Bothersome Is Bot Traffic?

November 2, 2015

Buyers are more concerned than sellers

Whether bots are bad for business may depend on who you ask. Though many players in the digital ad ecosystem still say they aren’t sure, advertisers consider bots more of a problem than publishers.

According to October 2015 research from Distil Networks and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), 48% of digital ad sellers were not sure how much of a negative effect bots had on digital ad campaigns. Among ad buyers, that share fell to 40%.

Ad buyers, meanwhile, were more likely to put a significant figure on how much damage bots were doing. Eighteen percent of advertisers said the negative effect amounted to 26% or more, while 19% said it came to 11% to 25%. Among ad sellers, the responses were 12% and 2%, respectively. Meanwhile, nearly twice as many ad sellers as buyers said the effect was smaller than 10%.

What to do about the problem was unclear: about two in five buyers and sellers alike had no opinion on paying for a solution that would certify traffic as human, though a fair number were willing to pay a premium of less than 25% for such a service.

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