- Dr. Paul Barford, chief scientist at MdotLabs, has lead a study of fake web traffic that shows the problem may be even worse than the industry knows; Dr. Barford estimates that fake traffic is costing advertisers $180 million annually with over 500 million invalid ad impressions a month.
- Dr. Barford conducted the study by posing as a publisher and employing several different traffic generating services, or PPV networks, and funneling views through a software that uses anomaly detection to identify fake traffic.
- The CEO of MdotLabs claims that as much as 50% of web traffic is fake, which is higher than what many others in the industry have found; for example, comScore estimates 36% of all traffic is non-human.
From the article:
"MdotLabs, the company that Dr. Barford co-founded this month, is among a number of firms that publishers, media agencies and advertisers use to identify bogus traffic. GroupM, for instance, employs the services of at least three such firms: Double Verify, Integral Ad Science and Spider.io. In February, the London-based Spider.io uncovered a cluster of more than 120,000 computers that had been infected by the Chameleon botnet, which was flooding websites with fake traffic."