Bot Traffic Continued Unabated in Q1; Mobile Bots Could Waste $1B in Ad Dollars

SolveMedia-Online-Bot-Traffic-Q32012-Q12013-Apr2013Bot traffic is up again in Q1, even after a spike in Q4, says Solve Media in its latest Bot Traffic Market Advisory update. In Q1, 29% of web traffic was the result of bot traffic, up from 25% in Q4 and 10% in Q3. Activity deemed “suspicious” grew to 43% of all web traffic, from 40% in Q4 and 26% in Q3. That means that more “suspicious” activity is being confirmed as bots with each passing quarter. The researchers reveal that mobile bot traffic, while not quite on the same level as the web, is also on the rise, and could waste close to $1 billion dollars of advertising budgets this year.

In Q1, 29% of mobile traffic acted suspiciously, and 14% was confirmed as bots. On a geographic basis, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates saw the highest levels of suspicious mobile activity, reaching 71% and 67%, respectively.

The US’ levels of suspicious web activity were right around the global average, at 44%, although levels of suspicious mobile activity were below-average, at 19%.

Solve Media notes that “malicious hackers are increasingly writing code to masquerade as mobile users in order to take advantage of the lower security levels imposed on mobile users,” such that “not all of the traffic identified as mobile is in fact from a mobile device.”

In March, spider.io reported the discovery of a large botnet said to be costing display advertisers more than $6 million per month, with affected websites seeing at least 65% of traffic being botnet traffic. More recently, AdWeek reported that “suspicious web domains cost online ad business $400 million per year.”

About the Data: Solve Media runs advertisers’ campaigns on its network, consisting of more than 6,000 publishers, and uses its proprietary TYPE-IN™ technology to prevent bot traffic, improve user experience, and guarantee human engagement.

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