Performance Testing News for March 26, 2014

Over 30% of Web Traffic is Fake

Web performance is all about speeding up web pages for your users, but what if your users are bots? The Wall Street Journal has reported that one-third of all website traffic comes from bots. Owners that fail to secure their computer with firewalls are in risk of being attacked by a botnet. A botnet taps into an owners computer and forwards viruses and spam to other computers on the internet. Botnets also generate fake page view impressions and clicks. Some site owners have taken advantage of this by having botnets view and click on ad banners to generate revenue for their site.

Interactive Advertising Bureau Chairman Vivek Shah at the IAB's recent annual leadership conference said, "If you peel the onion one layer," he said in a keynote address, "you see that an overwhelming majority of suspected non-human traffic comes from small publishers -- not comScore 100 sites. The reason is simple. The ability to buy cheap bot traffic and arbitrage it via ad exchanges has created enormous financial incentive for bad-actors to engage in a deception that threatens the very integrity of our business."

As agencies are learning to combat these practices, ad scammers are becoming more sophisticated with their strategy. Their “headless browser farm”. Ad scammers are stimulating human activity for their bots to make traffic appear more genuine. One group of farmers were able to generate $1.5 million in ad revenue before being caught. For more on the story visit WSJ.