Global Bot Traffic On Pace To Waste Up To $9.5B In 2013 Ad Budgets

Solve Media data revealed suspicious activity increased for both Web and mobile advertising

September 10, 2013

2 Min Read


NEW YORK -- (September 9, 2013) – Solve Media ( issued its latest Bot Traffic Market Advisory update today. The data revealed suspicious activity increased for both web and mobile advertising - from 43% to 46% for web advertising and from 29% to 35% for mobile advertising. For the second quarter, bot traffic patterns remained consistent in a range of 24% to 29% for web advertising and 11% to 14% for mobile advertising.

Solve Media security engineers have detected a new threat targeting the video ad marketplace, where budgets are increasing and the risk of non-human audience is growing.

A geographic analysis revealed that China, Venezuela, and Ukraine had the highest levels of suspicious activity in the display category and Singapore, Macau and Qatar had the highest levels of suspicious activity in mobile. In the US, suspicious web activity reached 43% and suspicious mobile activity reached 22%. In the UK, suspicious web activity reached 44% and suspicious mobile activity hit 32%.

Solve Media, a leader in the security and digital advertising industry, has been monitoring bot traffic for four years. The company reviews a monthly average of over 230 million human verifications across more than 6,500 global publishers. Solve Media's anti-bot CAPTCHA security platform specifically addresses bot traffic affecting publishers, advertisers and agencies by authenticating that audiences are, in fact, human. Authenticating users as human is critical: based on current levels of bot traffic, the global digital advertising industry is on pace to waste up to $9.5 billion in 2013 advertising to bots.*

"Analysis has shown that bot traffic affecting the online advertising ecosystem has grown from 10% to at least 24% in less than a year. Protecting website publishers from automated submissions, spam, attacks, and other types of fraudulent activity must become a crucial industry priority," said Adam J. O'Donnell, Chief Architect, Cloud Technology Group at Sourcefire and Solve Media security council member. "Through the application of big security data, effective solutions are emerging in this fight and publishers concerned with security are likely to embrace them."

"The waste and inefficiencies associated with showing ads to bots are frightening from a return on investment perspective," said Ari Jacoby, CEO of Solve Media. "We're watching the video marketplace carefully and actively advising agencies on the topic of bot-safe media inventory. We encourage publishers to proactively add our free anti-bot security to their sites in order to guarantee human audiences."

Bots crowd web, video and mobile traffic and cause advertisers to pay for impressions, views and clicks that are not being engaged with by real people. Malicious bots undermine the security of the web and cause harm, including stealing publisher content, creating spam assets and phishing.

* Based on ZenithOptimedia, 2013 Global Ad Spend Forecast

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