How does Invalid Traffic impact Publishers and E-commerce platforms?
A lot of information is in circulation when it comes to the impact of bot traffic on the multiple players in the programmatic ecosystem. Taking a quick revision, bad bots are non-human impressions that are usually automated to perform actions that negatively impact a digital asset and its owner.
A programmatic publisher gets chills down the spine when experiencing the problem of click spam. The more fraudulent clicks on a publisher’s inventory, the more the chances of being banned by Google in extreme conditions.
An eCommerce platform is often under the risk of a potential bot attack, employed by competitors, to scrape the prices of various products on the platforms and earn better revenue
While each player witnesses its own share of negative impacts, let’s look at the bigger picture of how IVT can cause detrimental consequences.
1. Destroying high-ranking page authority
In layman’s terms, page authority is a score assigned to each webpage by search engines like Google. A higher score increases the likelihood of a website ranking better in organic search results. Various forms of bot attacks like form spamming which involves spamming a website with form submissions to generate fake leads can impact the page authority of a website in a pessimistic way. An extreme case may also lead to a website being blacklisted by Google search.
2. Damaged web analytics
A lot of times, analytics reports may be skewed due to a lack of effective differentiation between bot traffic and human behavior, especially in the case of click farms. An eCommerce website, for example, may initiate better-retargeting campaigns if more traffic bounces back, abandoning the cart, without having knowledge of the exact source and nature of such traffic. Such inaccurate results may lead to faulty decision making which, in turn, deteriorates the revenue.
3. Competitive disadvantage
It’s time to keep your friends close and enemies closer because competitor bots are here to spoil things for you. A competitor may deliberately employ bots to scrape the product prices (in the case of eCommerce platforms) or generate multiple clicks on an ad (in the case of a publisher). Extreme fraudulent activities may lead to being banned from the advertising network of Google. Moreover, the brand name and reputation are also compromised.
4. Downgrading of the overall SEO score
Bot owners often engage in duplication of web content whereby bots circulate and pick portions of content from the website of a genuine publisher or an eCommerce platform. After doing so, such content is inserted into a duplicate webpage created by the bot owner. Search engines may wrongly relate a genuine website with one with duplicated content. This reduces your SERP ranking which impacts the overall SEO score due to multiple duplications of content.