Mar 24, 2014 5:56:22 PM

36% of Internet Traffic is Fake


A Third of Internet Traffic is Fake. 

The Interactive Advertising Bureau recently revealed an estimate which stated that over one third of all internet traffic is not real. The Bureau also mentioned that much of this traffic is generated by viruses which redirect host computers to websites. Web security experts such as the firm White Ops claim that these fraudulent sites are designed to trick advertisers into buying publishing space on the site.

This is worrisome for the digital advertising business. In 2010 more than half of digital advertising was purchased by automated software. This is only anticipated to increase. According to the Wall Street Journal, spending on advertising is expected to increase by 17% to $50 billion in this year alone. This increase in advertising spend is also anticipated to be accompanied by a rise in the amount of programmatic purchasing over the next few years, which industry experts estimate will raise the rate of programmatic purchasing of global advertising from 4% to 80% from 2013 to 2023. 

There is a definite need to address the issue. Advertisers will either have to use knowledge gained through advanced analytical tools to help them identify fraudulent websites or incorporate the viewer loss into the value of online advertising space. It does not seem likely that knowledge of fake traffic will deter advertisers from employing the internet to reach viewers since we have been experiencing a societal shift onto internet mediums.


In a Programmatic World, Media Agencies Can't Go It Alone. March 18, 2014. Marketing Mag.

A 'Crisis' in Online Ads: One-Third of Traffic Is Bogus. March 23 2014. Wall Street Journal.

Phony Web Traffic Tricks Digital Ads. Sept. 30, 2013. Wall Street Journal.

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