The Wall Street Journal reports that due to the billions of dollars flowing into online advertising, marketers are now facing the "uncomfortable reality" of rampant fraud. Reportedly, with 36% of all Web traffic considered fake, advertisers find themselves paying for visits generated by hijacked computers, with advertising not being seen by any human eyes.
So-called bot traffic cheats advertisers because marketers typically pay for ads whenever they are loaded in response to users visiting Web pagesregardless of whether the users are actual people.
The fraudsters erect sites with phony traffic and collect payments from advertisers through the middlemen who aggregate space across many sites and resell the space for most Web publishers. The identities of the fraudsters are murky, and they often operate from far-flung places such as Eastern Europe, security experts say.
The widespread fraud isn't discouraging most marketers from increasing the portion of their ad budgets spent online. But it is prompting some to become more aggressive in monitoring how their money is spent. The Internet has become so central to consumers, that advertisers can't afford to stay away.
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