You’ll have to look to find it, and the articles are behind paywalls.
They’re not being trumpeted all over financial media — but they should be.
What article? That Unilever is threatening to pull online ad campaigns stating that they believe half or more of the “clicks” are fraud. It was in the UK media — quietly — this weekend.
In other words, robots click them — not humans, who actually watch the ads.
This story ought to be front-page news. It’s not, and the financial media will not cover it the way it should.
Here’s why it should be:
1. This is not new. These issues have been known and talked about for more than a year. It was news last year, and then it quietly “went away.” Gee, you don’t think Zuckerpig laid into the financial media, do you? Naw, nobody would ever to do that when if their little ad game blew up in their face the stock price of Facepig would be zero. Consider that if half of the online advertising revenue is false then the actual value of said platforms is nil since their cost of operation exceeds the true human-generated revenue. That makes all of these so-called “businesses” worthless.
2. Nobody has an incentive on a platform like Facebook, where posters do not get a cut of the revenue, to stick an army of robots out there and click the ads, except for Facebook itself. This is decidedly not true for Google’s “Adsense” platform of course, or Youtubes, or whoever else where publishers get a piece of pie. There, if your traffic is high enough, there’s an economic incentive to cheat. For someone like me it’s not because the amount of money involved is too small, but for someone with a site that’s garnering tens or hundreds of thousands a month in payouts you can easily cover the cost of a robot or three (hundred) to generate some false traffic.
This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-06-26.