Google refunding advertisers after fake traffic snafu

Google has issued refunds to advertisers for running ads on websites with fake traffic. Unfortunately for advertisers who paid Google to show their ads, they’ll only get a fraction of the cost of the ads served to invalid traffic. People familiar with the situation have said that Google will reimburse “platform fees” which covers about 7% to 10% of the total purchase.

According to a report, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, informed marketers and ad agency partners that ads they’d paid to have shown via Google were falling victim to what’s termed ad fraud. This means that “bots” were being displayed ads that they were obviously never going to click on, therefore, being a waste of money to the advertisers. The latest case of ad fraud was larger than usual and has impacted advertisers harder.

Scott Spencer, director of project management at Google said the meagre refunds had been paid back to advertisers but didn’t share much more:

“Today, we can’t disclose the information about third parties. So when we aren’t able to catch invalid traffic before it impacts our advertisers and we’re unable to refund their media spent, it hurts us, even if we’re not responsible.”

Google is now working to fix the issue. The new system will provide clarity over which tech providers in the ad-buying chain are responsible for making the refunds. The system will also include technology to ensure advertisers are repaid full credit from Google and its partners when incidents occur.

As part of the new system Google is in discussions with over 100 exchanges, ad networks and publishers that its DoubleClick Bid Manager connects to. It wants them to notify to ad buyers whether they are willing to refund the entire media spend if ad fraud occurs.

Source: WSJ

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