OpenX, a Pasadena automated online ad exchange, has launched a new platform designed to improve the quality of its inventory and help eliminate ad fraud.
Ad fraud is caused by scammers who generate high traffic on their web pages using computer programs known as “bots,” rather by attracting actual humans. Those inflated traffic numbers mean scammers can charge a higher price for ads on their sites, even though no one actually sees them.
Thirty-six percent of all Internet traffic is generated by bots rather than humans, according to 2012 data from Reston, Va., analytics firm comScore Inc.
And the problem persists. New York Web security firm White Ops released a report in 2013 suggesting online advertisers, including some of the biggest brands in the world, have lost a total of $6 billion to online ad scams.
Automated ad networks, which sell massive amounts of ad inventory across hundreds or even thousands of different publishers every second, are especially vulnerable to fraud because of the large number of Web publishers using their platforms.
In addition to its 20-person bot-detection team, OpenX said its new system enables the exchange to have the earliest possible look at publisher inventory and extends fraud-detection techniques to the browser.
“The fact that our ad code sits directly on the publisher page gives us an earlier look into publisher inventory than any existing buyer pre-bid solutions we’re aware of,” said John Murphy, vice president of marketplace quality at OpenX, in a statement.