GeoEdge has recently released a new study that looks at various types of loss in digital advertising. The report found that auto-redirects are costing advertisers about $210 million each year directly, plus up to another $920 million in secondary fraud. Sites that redirect traffic often lead to pages that have rampant ad fraud, which is where this number comes from.
Auto-redirects are a huge issue in the industry, and account for about 48% of all ‘malvertising.’ The report broke down where this type of issue is taking place, and not surprisingly, it is mostly in the US. The US accounts for 26.5% of auto-redirects, the UK 21%, Denmark 16%, and Canada 11.5%. Most of the redirects are happening on mobile devices (72%), and desktops (27%).
In the report, they state, “The click-fraud scam is highly attractive to hackers, as they can slip into the convoluted labyrinth of the ad tech ecosystem without detection and get a payday.”
Auto-redirects can be put in place by site owners, or injected maliciously by hackers who are looking to boost their profits. In addition to costing brands millions, this issue is also very annoying for users, and often discourages them from finding the content they are looking for. This poor user experience is likely costing brands and publishers millions more in lost potential revenue, but that would be virtually impossible to accurately calculate.