Stand around the ad industry’s water cooler long enough and you’re bound to hear the topic of non-human-traffic (NHT) arise. And that shouldn’t come as a surprise! Each month millions of advertising dollars are lost because of some form of this “no-count” traffic.
What is NHT?
Non-human traffic is a fraudulent practice that exists in the digital ad industry. In a nutshell, NHT is online traffic that is generated by a “bot” rather than an actual person. NHT can manifest itself in several forms, including click fraud and impression fraud. These bots cause clicks and impressions to be recorded, resulting in skewed measurements of success and fraudulent charges to the advertiser even though these clicks and impressions were not the result of human views.
At Genius Monkey, we are well aware of this problem, and we know that it’s no laughing matter. We have put a number of “stops” in place to prevent this trickery from invading the measurable data for our clients. We use the latest continually evolving technology to detect even the most intricate and sophisticated NHT as it presents itself. We are constantly updating these state-of-the-art preventative measures to filter it out from our reporting. Along with our built-in detection algorithms, our partners utilize third-party validation companies like comScore and MOAT, ensuring that not only is the traffic actually human, but that the ads are seen, as well.
What NHT Affects
When Non-Human Traffic is included in the audience and view measurements, the results are going to be skewed. Infiltration of this deceitful nuisance affects all of the other metrics of performance and effectiveness that you use, as well. If it is not removed from the ad results, your key performance indicators are infected and as a result inaccurate.
As the ad industry is placing a heavy emphasis on battling the complications caused by NHT, the ultimate goal of effective advertising must remain at the forefront for our clients. After all, the ultimate goal of a good advertisement should be to bring out emotions, feelings or behaviors of the targeted audience not of an inanimate bot! In order for this to come to pass, the ad must reach the targeted, real-live human beings.
When an ad reaches anything but a living, breathing human, it equates to a missed opportunity to impact an actual consumer. In addition, it has an adverse affect on the evaluation of our clients’ ROI. If the NHT is included when calculating the advertising results, it will have a diluting affect due to the lift in key metrics. As in any form of result gathering, inaccurate figures lead to inaccurate results, making it appear that the programmatic platform that Genius Monkey offers isn’t living up to the expected gains. In other words, the negative effect that NHT causes is detrimental not only to the advertiser, but to the sellers as well, as it makes it look as though the ads placed on their sites aren’t as effective as hoped. It is a losing situation for both sides of the industry.
For this reason, it’s imperative that ad validation and, even more important, delivery to humans takes place. Accurate measurements of ad campaigns must illustrate just how an ad reaches the targeted audience in order for media purchasers and sellers to create and serve ads that are valued over and above the costs associated with them.
- For media purchasers (both the marketers, and the agencies that provide inventory and placement), accurate measurements help them to know that members of their target audience are being reached, and that the ads are having the desired impact on them.
- For those that are selling the media, the accurate measurements are used to validate the true value of the site they appear on, the consumers that they appeal to, and the general value of the programmatic advertising concept.
There are a number of methods used to detect and filter out NHT across all the dimensions of delivery. Be assured that Genius Monkey is on the frontline of this botheration of digital advertising.