Fake Web Traffic: Confusing Outputs with Outcomes

Since about 2005 when pressure began to mount on marketing professionals to prove accountability and ROI, marketers have looked to demonstrate value by measuring. This desire to measure has also caused “track-able” media, such as the web, to become preferred to “impression” media such as newspapers. However, track-able does not mean valuable.

In a recent article in Advertising Age, the author notes that “fake web traffic is worse than you thought,” and may be costing online advertisers millions of dollars in wasted ad impressions.

In today’s world you want to pay for engagement not impressions when possible. YouTube‘s True View program where you only pay if the video is watched completely is a simple example. You can construct other engagement devices as well, but if you are going to pay for outputs, why not buy print media, they are very hungry for your ad spend.

While how much web traffic is actually “fake” and counted is subject to valid debate, if you invest in outcomes, not outputs, it won’t matter.


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