Google Battles Online Ad Fraud 2

Google Battles Online Ad Fraud

Google is taking further steps to stamp out online ad fraud with the acquisition of London-based Spider.io, a startup that has exposed several online scams.
Google’s acquisition is part of the online giant’s battle against one of its major challenges:  beating or at least combating malicious software, bots and other scam techniques that are increasingly exploiting the $116 billion online advertising market.
The Financial Times reports that online ad scams are scaring marketers pouring huge dollars into digital marketing and contributing to the problems faced by traditional media.
Online ad fraud is costing internet and advertising companies as much as $10bn a year, according to industry estimates.

 

“Ad fraud is the pollution problem of the web,” Neal Mohan, Google’s vice-president for display advertising, told the Financial Times. “If you are out at a national park or trying to get a photograph of a beautiful lake, it is a mound of trash in front of it. Spider.io has been trying to clean that up to get to the pristine environment.”

 

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Spider.io’s team of seven employees will join Google.

 

Google has been at the forefront of fighting online ad fraud since the early days of the internet, when schemes primarily targeted search engines and falsified clicks on search ads. Now, display ads, video ads and social media ads are all victim to attacks.

 

In the past year, Spider.io has exposed several high profile scams. Those include fraudsters that hacked into personal computers to create botnets that can impersonate genuine web users and generate fake advertising views. Another scheme involved a new software that hijacked web users’ visits to YouTube and inserted an extra layer of ads.

 

“Spider is one of the leaders in finding and helping companies at all stages of the value chain eradicate fraud,” said Tom Phillips, chief executive of digital ad firm Dstillery. “The attention on this topic is long overdue.”

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