How Bothersome Is Bot Traffic? - eMarketer

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How Bothersome Is Bot Traffic?

Buyers are more concerned than sellers

November 2, 2015

Whether bots are bad for business may depend on who you ask. Though many players in the digital ad ecosystem still say they aren’t sure, advertisers consider bots more of a problem than publishers.

Extent to Which Bot Traffic Negatively Effects Digital Campaigns According to US Digital Ad Buyers vs. Sellers, Oct 2015 (% of respondents)

According to October 2015 research from Distil Networks and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), 48% of digital ad sellers were not sure how much of a negative effect bots had on digital ad campaigns. Among ad buyers, that share fell to 40%.

Ad buyers, meanwhile, were more likely to put a significant figure on how much damage bots were doing. Eighteen percent of advertisers said the negative effect amounted to 26% or more, while 19% said it came to 11% to 25%. Among ad sellers, the responses were 12% and 2%, respectively. Meanwhile, nearly twice as many ad sellers as buyers said the effect was smaller than 10%.

Premium that US Digital Ad Buyers vs. Sellers Would Be Willing to Pay for Certified Human Traffic, Oct 2015 (% of respondents)

What to do about the problem was unclear: about two in five buyers and sellers alike had no opinion on paying for a solution that would certify traffic as human, though a fair number were willing to pay a premium of less than 25% for such a service.

Earlier this year, Distil Networks reported that 22.8% of web traffic worldwide in 2014 came from “bad bots,” while a little over one-third came from “good bots” (like search indexing). Human traffic had dropped from 54.8% of the worldwide total in 2013 to 40.9% in 2014, though bad bot traffic had dipped slightly.

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