16% of reported internet traffic is nothing more than computer created bots which gather search engine information, post advertorial comments and provide otherwise useless visitor data.
According to Mashable:
“Automated clicks on ads and other web content drive down value, diminish investments and hurt integrity. And the bot problem only seems to be getting worse as technology advances. This summer, for example, a Long Island startup gained widespread attention after claiming that 80% of the clicks it paid for in Facebook ads came from bots and not humans.”
To determine the true reach of such bots advertising company Solve Media examined various traffic numbers. Solve found that while the U.S. actually has a lower rate of non-consumer traffic than other countries, the percentage of bots still sits at a rather high 16 percent.
In comparison Singapore suffers from a 56 percent bot rate while the Philippines sits at 43 percent.
The biggest concern with such numbers is that advertisers are essentially paying for 16% more visitors than they are actually receiving. When we consider that the online advertising market is expected to reach $15.3 billion in 2013 that is a loss of more than $2 billion.
The number of bots generating traffic could lead to new marketing models that are more based on CPA (cost per action) advertisements in place of CPC (Cost per click) and CPM (cost per thousand viewers).
Bots have long been thought to generate a large percentage of internet traffic for websites which means this newest study likely won’t surprise many advertisers who already keep bot traffic in mind when setting ad spend goals and limits based on ad performance rather than visitor view counts.