- The proliferation of bots will cost digital advertisers $6.3 billion next year, says a study by digital security firm White Ops and the Association of National Advertisers.
- Bots act like people, but are automated systems that click on advertisements or view videos, in the process falsely inflating the size of websites' audiences.
- Fraud by bots has existed for some time on the lower end, where ads cost a few dollars or less. The study, however, showed many higher-end websites and publishers that charge 10 times more for an ad are just as at risk.
Bots exist because the Internet has become such a valuable piece of real estate, with millions of devotees. But because of its success, the Internet is going to attract opportunists. Look for advertisers to become even more careful with how and where they place their dollars. It might not even be a stretch for Washington to stand up and take notice, leading to some sort of legislation.