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Advertising: Your web traffic might be fake

We’re not making assumptions; we’re just citing the stats.

According to a recent study, nearly 40% of all online traffic is invalid, amounting to a whopping $143B revenue loss.

Fake Traffic Rate by Industry 2022.

That’s a lot of fake

The study was based on a huge sample of one billion site visits from 15k companies.

The findings? 5.9% of paid, 5.7% of organic, and 22.1% of direct traffic is fake. Yikes.

And if you think that’s bad… marketers torched $35.7B of ad spend on fraudulent traffic in 2022. Big ouch.

Mug shots

Out of all fake traffic sources combined, the most common culprits are…

  • Data centers (25.4%).
  • Automation tools (22.3%).
  • VPN (20.9%).

Not shown: scrapers, proxy, and low quality users are also on the list.

Not out of the woods yet

Meanwhile, click hijacking attract grew by 125%, while malicious bot attacks grew by 112%.

Why we care

If you can’t track invalid traffic, your paid and organic efforts may be compromised and you might even be “optimizing” campaigns for fake visits—and wasting revenue on top of it.

Traffic on its own can be a misleading stat, so make sure you set up proper tracking and optimize for quality and conversions instead.

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