Google acquires Spider.io to fight ad fraud

Spider.io helps advertisers spot billions of fake ad views generated by networks of hijacked devices

Google claimed it's ratcheting up the fight against fraud in online advertising, disclosing Friday that it has bought Spider.io, a London company specializing in ad fraud detection technology.

Google has been investing in ad fraud prevention for years, said Neal Mohan, Google's Display Advertising VP in a blog post on Friday. The company last year turned down millions of applications from sites looking to join its network because of suspected fraudulent activity, he said.

Now, Google will immediately include Spider.io's fraud detection technology in its video and display ads products to complement existing efforts, said Mohan.

Spider.io helps preventing display advertisers from being defrauded by networks of hijacked PCs, tablets and phones that generate billions of fake ad views, according to its website.

Currently there are two types of display advertising fraud being committed using hijacked Internet-enabled devices, according to Spider.io.

The first involves the attacker running fully automated browsers on the hijacked devices without the knowledge of the device owners. Those browsers visit ad-laden websites of the attacker's choosing and simulate mouse movements and ad clicks, Spider.io said.

The second type involves hijacking the browsing sessions of the device owners. That typically takes one of four forms, Spider.io said. The device owner's clicks could for instance be redirected to websites of the attacker's choosing, and the device owner may also be shown unexpected pop-up windows. Web pages may also be hidden in pop-under windows under the owners' active browser windows, and ads could be illegitimately injected into web pages ordinarily visited by the device owners.

The company's technology prevents hijacked PCs, tablets and phones from being used to defraud online advertisers by identifying the type of automated agent responsible for each individual ad request in real time, according to its website.

Google said it hopes its anti-fraud efforts will eventually improve the metrics that advertisers and publishers use to determine the value of digital media and give all parties a clearer picture of what campaigns and media are truly delivering strong results.

Details of the deal where not disclosed in the blog post. Google did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

3 skills you need to drive better collaboration

A study published in The Harvard Business Review found the time spent in collaborative activities at work has increased by over 50 per cent in the past two decades. Larger projects; complicated problems; tighter timeframes: These require bigger teams with specialised skillsets and diverse backgrounds, often dispersed globally.

Jen Jackson

CEO, Everyday Massive

Better the bank you know?

In 2018, only 21 per cent of customers believed that banks in general had their customers best interests at heart and behave ethically. Only 26 per cent believed that banks will keep their promises; views cemented further following the Hayne Financial Services Royal Commission.

Carolyn Pitt

Head of account management, Hulsbosch

What 15 years of emotional intelligence told us about youth media audiences

Taking people on an emotional journey through content is the most critical part of being a publisher. Which is why emotion lies at the heart of VICE Media.

Stephanie Winkler

Head of insights, VICE Asia-Pacific

It's a pretty good idea. I think this integration is useful. Don't you agree?

Misty Stoll

Officeworks hops on voice interface bandwagon with Google Assistant integration

Read more

ok. so no RCS support? by the way, RCS is a lot bigger than 5G in terms of marketing and monetisation so y'all should be covering it.

DragoCubed

Optus goes for education with 5G network campaign

Read more

Many companies and individual merchants have shifted their major part of marketing to web marketing services Portland as it weighs fewer ...

Radiata Solutions

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

This is a unique experience! Will be interesting to talk to their managers.

Joyce Harris

​How Krispy Kreme revitalised its brand in a saturated market

Read more

I feel bad for them. It's a shame they are closed now. What do you think about it?

Lisa Deleon

Dick Smith stores set to all close by 30 April

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in