“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.”