In our tech feed this morning from Recode.com, this headline caught my attention, "How Much of The Internet Is Fake?" Recently the Justice department indicted eight people accused of 'fleecing advertisers of $36 million in two of the largest digital ad-fraud operations ever uncovered. Digital advertisers tend to want two things: people to look at their ads and “premium” websites — i.e., established and legitimate publications — on which to host them."
They fooled advertisers into believing that their ads were appearing on legitimate sites. In addition they used bots to imitate humans with so called fake clicks, fake websites, and fake social media accounts coming from ghost websites designed for bot traffic.
Author, Max Read, points out that 40% of the Internet is fake, and the metrics from various advertisers like Facebook. "According to an exhaustive list at MarketingLand, over the past two years Facebook has admitted to misreporting the reach of posts on Facebook Pages (in two different ways), the rate at which viewers complete ad videos, the average time spent reading its “Instant Articles,” the amount of referral traffic from Facebook to external websites, the number of views that videos received via Facebook’s mobile site, and the number of video views in Instant Articles."
I hope you take the time to read this article, especially if you are thinking of putting ads on line. If not, I think Mr. Read sums it up beautifully:
What’s gone from the internet, after all, isn’t “truth,” but trust: the sense that the people and things we encounter are what they represent themselves to be. Years of metrics-driven growth, lucrative manipulative systems, and unregulated platform marketplaces, have created an environment where it makes more sense to be fake online — to be disingenuous and cynical, to lie and cheat, to misrepresent and distort — than it does to be real."
Our advice to all real estate marketing professionals is marketing face to face. We often cite our own example of taking two people to lunch which resulted in 5 clients, at the cost of $160.