A statistical picture of the cost of digital advertising fraud
24% of web traffic is bots being used for fraud and theft.
Thanks to technology we no longer have to worry which half of our ad budget is wasted. Now we can know how much of it is being stolen. Advertising fraud is a widely known, widely ignored and very expensive fact.
Have you moved from homegrown legacy applications to commercial solutions (or vice versa)? Let us know!
How expensive? Let’s look at the numbers.
- $68 billion: Expected worldwide ad spend lost to fraud this year. (Juniper Research)
- $23 billion: Expected U.S. ad spend lost to fraud this year. (Juniper Research)
- $100 million: Amount per day U.S. companies are expected to be losing to advertising fraud in 2024, an increase of 125% since 2018. (TrafficGuard)
- 38%: Amount of web traffic that is automated/bots. (Imperva)
- 24%: Amount of web traffic that bots used for fraud and theft. (Imperva)
- 14%: Average clicks from fake sources in each paid search campaign. (ClickCease)
- $1: Amount lost to fraud out of every $3 spent by advertisers. (Interceptd)
- $5: Amount a botnet owner is charging per 1000 clicks. (ClickCease)
- 73%: Number of U.S. businesses saying ad fraud is a problem for them. (Netacea)
- 4%: Revenue lost by those businesses to ad fraud each year. (Netacea)
- $100 or less: Price of renting a cheap botnet. (Threatpost)
- 11%: Share of global ad traffic that’s invalid or fraudulent. (Statista)
- 25%-40%: Estimated expected fraud rate for ad campaigns. (Anura)
- 36%: Amount of fraudulent/invalid display ad clicks. (PPC Protect)
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Why we care. In addition to the many obvious answers (theft is wrong, this means analytics/KPIs are entirely fictitious), there is another coming around the bend. If/when the recession hits, marketing budgets are going to get a lot tighter fast. Be nice if that money was accomplishing something for you, wouldn’t it?