Reports are plentiful of non-human bots gaming the online advertising industry by delivering fraudulent impressions and click traffic, and the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) took note. The IAB released the “Traffic Fraud: Best Practices for Reducing Risk to Exposure” on December 5, 2013, to help online media buyers, publishers and ad networks mitigate the dilemma.
Online advertising has become a central part of our digital lives. Advertising publishers and platforms supply billions of ads every day. Ensuring that ads served are contextually accurate and brand safe for the target audience is critical to a safe and secure internet.
zvelo’s granular taxonomy supports nearly 500 topic-based, malicious, phishing, objectionable and sensitive categories for brand safety and contextual targeting applications. zvelo’s data is unmatched in quality and veracity to ensure a brand’s ads can safely be placed on pages with content aligned to the brand’s image, mission, and target audience.
People don’t seem to worry much about privacy when “checking in” to a favorite local restaurant or coffee shop, or from other social media posts that reveal one’s location. What if you were approached by a complete stranger who knew your name and other personally indefinable information within minutes after making an upload? A few socialites got quite the shock after a social media experiment revealed how much personal information can be extracted from publicly viewable status updates.
Ad blocking has gained wide consumer acceptance over the past couple of years and a PageFair report suggests it could be costing web-based businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost advertising revenue. In some instances, ad blocking negatively impacted a select number of websites so much they are no longer online. With the use of ad blocking software on the rise, there exists a significant requirement by the ad-tech market to make the most of those actual ad placements that make the cut. In other words, it’s more important than ever for ad units to be in-context with content on web pages, no matter how deep within a website the placements land.
Consumers will soon know exactly how much of their personal information is being collected online, by whom, and may one day be able to correct errors or opt-out entirely from such activity. The name of the game is “privacy” and thanks to a combination of recent investigative reporting and pressure from advocacy groups, regulatory entities and politicians, the urgency to reach this point is now mainstream news.
There have been two notable botnets that have cost online advertisers millions of dollars in advertising click fraud in recent weeks. The first botnet, Bamital, was taken down by Microsoft and Symantec in February. A second botnet was later identified and dubbed Chameleon by Spider.io, a security company that specializes in analyzing web traffic. Since zvelo is also in the business of analyzing and categorizing web content viewed by actual users, this story resonated hard with zveloLABS.
The display advertising process has been pretty consistent over recent years. Advertisers like Coca-Cola, AT&T, and State Farm Group plan and buy available advertising space on publisher websites. The planning and buying is conducted by someone in-house or an outside advertising agency or independent marketer is brought in to facilitate. The use of an advertising platform usually follows and serves to disperse the actual ad units across various web properties for people to consume. People then have the choice to view and click-through on an ad depending on how enticing the offer or messaging is. What happens if an ad unit is not served and people don’t have the opportunity of reacting to it because it simply did not appear? That’s precisely what comScore revealed in their U.S. Digital Future in Focus 2013 report.
Web spam is the bombardment of mostly unsolicited advertising messages or links sent across a wide array of media, including social networking websites, instant messaging applications, online newsgroups or forums, mobile phones, and blogs. Web spam has even been found stuffed within the results pages of popular search engines like Google. While the majority of web spam is benign, certain campaigns are tied to particular types of web pages disguised to contain valuable information. In actuality, these spam web pages are often littered with irrelevant and meaningless content, sometimes inappropriate in nature, or worse yet they can be used to host and spread malware.
Brand safety is one of the most important metrics of success for online advertisers. Ad placements on inappropriate web pages can negatively impact brand appeal, leading to lost revenue. PR nightmares will also erupt if ads are delivered onto malicious or compromised websites, which tend to frequently go online and offline. Publishers and online advertising delivery vendors are challenged with addressing the brand safety demand head on, and while some entities have stepped up through noted technological innovation, others still lag in winning over advertiser sentiment.
zvelo is proud to support the Internet Watch Foundation in its mission to make the internet a safer place for all. By working to assess and remove webpages that disseminate criminal content and child sexual abuse content, the IWF is helping to stop criminal activity and to protect web users.
Online advertising spending in the U.S. is on the rise. In the first quarter of 2011 alone, companies that sold online advertising reportedly surpassed $7 billion in revenue.1 Unfortunately, social engineering scams on Facebook also continue to thrive.2 How are the two related? Unsolicited Facebook spam in the form of status updates is actively infiltrating the social networking giant and aimed at tricking users into visiting websites ridden with survey scams and pop-up advertising, as is the case in the following analysis of a real-world example. This trend will continue to degrade the credibility of the online advertising industry and could possibly taint the images of the brands that these spam campaigns are targeting.