Who sees your Online Ads? Humans or Bots?

Who is seeing your adverts?

Online media industry has no shortage of things to worry about, like the thought that fake online traffic has become a commodity. And that half of all online ads are never seen by humans but that a huge amounts of traffic and clicks come from BOT (a simple computer program used to perform highly repetitive operations).

We even have BOT influencers. These are people have created a number of online social accounts to promote and disseminate information for specific products and services on social platforms

There’s malware for generating it and brokers who sell it. Some companies pay for it intentionally, some accidentally, and some prefer not to ask where their traffic comes from. This has given rise to an industry of countermeasures, which inspire counter-countermeasures.

Earlier when online adverts had just came there was hope and move from the traditional unmeasurable advertising since one of the benefits of the internet is that you can track almost every aspect of someone’s behavior—whether it’s the amount of time they spend on a page, where they came from, what browser they use and what they clicked on.

But even now, we are still faced with measuring the effectiveness of online advertising, like we can’t agree on what metrics to work with. At Kahill Insights (KICL). we get a lot of questions of whether one has to measure Advert Clicks? Page-views? Unique monthly visitors? Time spent on a page? Page-views or Visitors? to see if they adverts are working.

The presence of BOT software programs designed to mimic the activities of human browsers makes the above a less problem to online advertising. Such programs can drive huge amounts of traffic to websites, and can even scroll through a site and click on links, just as a human browser would.

Despite their presence, according to the latest annual “Bot Traffic Report” from Imperva Incapsula, a cloud-based security service, human traffic overtook bot traffic for the first time in 2015, accounting for 52 percent of all website activity—a jump from roughly 44 percent in 2014. It looks like humans are finally taking back the Internet!

How there is still worry that Bots might rise again and according to contently.com this is because “marketers continue to pump more money into their digital ad budgets, meaning there’s more ad spend for bots to rip off. And not only are marketers spending more, but they’re also buying more ads that are vulnerable to bot fraud. As ANA pointed out, there are two types of ads that are more vulnerable to bots than the average online ad:

  1.  Video ads: They’re expensive and provide a stronger economic incentive for bot operators to game.
  2. Programmatic ads: Marketers have less control over exactly where they’re placed, which make them less secure.”

Then there is the growing desire to stay anonymous but be able to disseminate information that is not necessary or even max on reach and engagement so we get the bot accounts coming up on social sites like Twitter.

So there is need to be careful on who brands use as a publiciser ot influencer and their own media buys, they shouldn’t attribute the results they see from programmatic placements ads solely to be humans.

Most importantly markers should invest in creating content that appeals to humans and not bots. You have to create to get elicit an emotional response, shareable content that goes viral.

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