THE FACTS ON AUTO BOTS
Click Fraud is an Epidemic
A Bot Click is when a script or software of an auto bot commands information from a website link like a human would do. Also called Click Fraud, with email or with banner ads, you may be paying for “clicks” to your website that aren’t truly actual humans. This practice of repeatedly clicking on an advertisement hosted on a website with the intention of generating revenue for the host site or draining revenue from the advertiser is not only a reality, it’s an epidemic.
In December of 2016, Forbes ran an article stating that a group of Russian criminals are making between $3 million and $5 million every day in a brazen attack on the advertising market. This statement points to a 30-page research paper called, The Methbot Operation, produced from a company called White Ops, which monitored Methbot, and several other auto bot programs, that bilked millions of dollars from unsuspecting advertisers daily. This practice is wide-spread, affecting millions of websites to a more or lesser degree. It ultimately translates to higher costs in digital advertising and a higher cost for consumer goods and services.
To read the entire research paper and findings, click here.
The fact is that it’s very difficult to identify an auto bot, and prevent it. While some bots are good such as the Google auto bots that crawl your website and rank it for SEO, many more are not. There are many that interfere with Pay-Per-Click advertising which ends up falsely reporting human driven site visits. In the case of an email campaign, accurate click reports can be, and are often, manipulated to appear more successful than they actually are, which can be costly to the advertiser.