A mainstream business daily reported last week that rising investments in digital marketing are expected to reach US$ 300 billion in 2020. On the other hand, a digital media audit firm says that as much of 40% of the investment is based on fake ad traffic and bots. According to www.techterms.com, ‘A bot (short for ‘robot’) is an automated program that runs over the Internet. Some bots run automatically, while others only execute commands when they receive specific input. There are many different types of bots, but some common examples include web crawlers, chat room bots, and malicious bots.’
Bots greatly inflate web traffic even on Google analytics and because they merely open the pages in automation fashion, they also dilute the dwell time on the content. The fake traffic uses content scraping websites and gets bots to click on the ads outside of a user’s view. Typically, digital ads are created that are invisible to the readers and clicked on by bots.
As per the Media Rating Council viewability standard, if 50% of the ad space is viewed by a human for 1 second, an ad impression is considered viewed; if 50% of the ad space is seen by a ‘human’ for 1 second for a static ad, it is chargeable. For a video ad, 50% of the ad space needs to be viewed for 2 seconds to be considered an impression.
There is a need to improve analytics for news media and even B2B media, especially across channels and preferably across both print and online platforms and channels. In this direction, the Published Audience Measurement Company funded by the UK News Media Association, the Professional Publishers Association and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising and supported by the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers, has launched a new measurement tool that looks at audience delivery across all publisher platforms.
The new joint industry currency is claimed to have the capacity and flexibility to measure new types of published content and multiple platforms that can keep pace with digital developments and changing consumer habits. UK news and magazine publishers put their content on various platforms and the new currency measures across all of them. While print on paper remains the single biggest platform in the UK, there is a diversity of channels used by publishers and many want to be available on a variety of platforms. It makes sense for both advertisers and the publishers to be able to measure audiences on several channels as well as the overall impact across channels. This approach can also help agencies buy access to audiences across channels and even several publishers’ brands with a single buy.