- An anonymous former publishing executive opened up to Digiday about knowingly purchasing bot traffic.
- According to the exec, the business model for the publication was set up to benefit from bot traffic. Advertisers were paying per impression, so it didn't matter to the publication where the traffic came from.
- Companies that provided paid traffic would disguise the bot traffic—which was, of course, the least expensive—by using terms like "unknown quality." The publisher couldn't prove definitively that the traffic was from bots, but the analytics showed spikes in traffic during short periods of time all coming from the same old version of Internet Explorer.
This inside peek from a publishing exec shows a big part of why bot traffic continues to be a problem. As long as advertisers are basing their payments solely on impressions, the problem will continue—especially if the sellers of bot traffic continue to disguise the terms and make it easy for publishers to claim they didn't know they were buying fraudulent traffic. The anonymous publisher in the article put it best: "Some articles revolving around bot traffic paint publishers as rubes who were duped into buying bad traffic by shady bot owners. Rather, I believe publishers are willing to do anything to make their economics work."