Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has long been fighting the good fight against fraudulent display advertising. Today, the company announced that it had acquired the London-based Spider.io, a company that specializes in display ad fraud recognition software.
Google’s Display Advertising VP on severity of ad fraud
In a blog post today, Neal Mohan, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Display Advertising VP pointed out that the company had been fighting ad fraud for years and that it had turned down millions of sites’ applications to join its network just last year due to suspicions of ad fraud.
The blog post also had the following to say:
Advertising helps fund the digital world we love today — inspiring videos, informative websites, entertaining apps and services that connect us with friends around the world. But this vibrant ecosystem only flourishes if marketers can buy media online with the confidence that their ads are reaching real people, that results they see are based on actual interest. To grow the pie for everyone, we need to take head on the issue of online fraud.
No financial details were disclosed, but its doubtful that this was a huge purchase. The startup has a staff of seven, though a very talented group including three PhDs, an ex-Yahoo natural language processing and an artificial intelligence expert.
What does Spider offer?
It’s believed that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) will incorporate Spider.io’s technology almost immediately.
According to its website, Spider helps to prevent advertisers from being defrauded by hijacked PCs, smartphones, and tablets that generate billions of fake views today. The website also highlights the two types of ad fraud that target display advertising.
The first means of attack uses automated browsers without the users knowledge to visit ad-laden websites and simulates mouse movements and ad clicks. The second type involves hijacking the browsing sessions of the device owners.
Spider’s technology identifies the type of automated agent responsible for individual ad requests in real time.
It’s Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s hope that its anti-fraud work will some day improve the metrics that both publishers and advertisers use to value digital media and judge the success of media and advertising campaigns.