Massive Methbot Ad Fraud Network Steals Millions Per Day

DENNIS FISHER | December 20, 2016

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Cybercriminals are using a sophisticated botnet operation to impersonate both websites and visitors in order to steal as much as $5 million in ad revenue per day from publishers, according to new research into the network, known as Methbot. The botnet is enmeshed in the online ad infrastructure and has its own elaborate support system, including hundreds of thousands of forged IP addresses, hundreds of servers, and targets more than a quarter of a million separate URLs for spoofing.

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Augmented Reality: The Real Game-Changer for Marketing in 2020

Article | December 8, 2020

While brands have dabbled in augmented reality (AR) for years, 2020 marks the tipping point where it’s becoming an integral part of marketing strategy, helping create meaningful and emotional consumer connections. AR has finally grown up; once infamous for gimmicks such as face filters on social media, it’s now a cross-platform tool to build truly interactive environments, compared to VR which requires a headset to create computer-aided stimuli. The figures tell us that the global market is expected to grow substantially from $13 billion this year to more than $67 billion by 2024. The technology is graduating from being used solely for entertainment to providing real-world value and utility for marketers through immersive and experiential opportunities. So – in the midst of a global pandemic – what makes this the perfect time for AR to come of age, and how can marketers make use of its unique attributes? Extensive investment in the ecosystem is laying the foundations for AR’s long-awaited, mainstream emergence. Google and Apple’s mobile tech stacks, ARCore and ARKit, mean more than four billion smartphones across the world are already AR compatible, and Google now includes AR in mobile search. In addition, the imminent arrival of 5G will dramatically boost mobile connectivity, enabling developers and content creators to use approximately 100 times the bandwidth of 4G to build a new type of experiential, 3D environment where users can intuitively interact with the people, objects and information around them. Alongside these tech developments, the global COVID-19 context is inevitably changing consumer needs and behaviors, increasing demand for the virtual, contactless experiences that can be achieved through AR. And in the near future, wearable tech such as AR spectacles will also join the party to propel evolution in the space even faster. Here are four ways AR can be a game-changer for marketing in 2020: Enabling product visualization In a world where consumers order everything from clothes to cars online, marketers can harness AR to help shoppers visualize products in an interactive and immersive way that goes far beyond a static image or video. This could mean experiencing what it’s like to sit inside a dream car, watching AR panoramas unfold through the virtual windscreen, or seeing what a jacket looks like on the actual shopper, without them having to leave the house. Augmented Reality enables consumers to explore customization options and the unique elements that a product can offer. Brands that utilize the technology witness up to 8x longer dwell times, as giving consumers control over their digital experiences boosts engagement levels. For instance, participants at an AR smartphone launch can virtually see and interact with detailed specifications and features of the device. AR is certainly not restricted to just online browsing – it has a real benefit in the physical world too, for instance helping shoppers in stores discover how and where the product was made, just by scanning a code –subsequently helping move them along their purchase journey. Future-proofing education and development AR enables a more sophisticated, discovery-based form of learning. For example, students in a classroom can engage with virtual, 3D objects to help grow their understanding of certain topics. Teaching concepts such as orbits in the solar system can be optimized using AR-powered, interactive models. Additionally, AR allows for the gamification of learning experiences, helping to boost knowledge retention through educational puzzles and treasure hunts. The learning benefits of AR also extend beyond the classroom. In mechanical fields especially, the technology can train people how to complete tasks by superimposing the end result on the version the trainee is practicing with. Implementing AR in professional development cases has shown significant improvements to learning curves, creativity, and spatial awareness. In fact, according to a study by the National Training Laboratories, “learning by doing” has shown to increase learning retention rates by up to 75% compared to simply listening to a seminar or lecture. By progressing education onto understanding and experiencing, as opposed to reading and writing, AR offers huge benefits across the industry. Invigorating interactive advertising Product visualization, along with other attributes of AR, can be used to deliver interactive advertising experiences that truly connect with consumers and boost conversions by 40%. AR ad units drive far more engagement and dwell time than conventional media and can give digital display advertising a new lease of life. What’s more, the real-time interaction between user and ad enables advertisers to effectively measure the impact of their campaigns and optimize accordingly. Advertisers have cautiously experimented with AR for years but they have largely added minor elements to traditional campaigns simply to ‘tick a box’. To make the most of AR’s capabilities and deliver real engagement, marketers need to take a different strategic approach and put this disruptive technology at the heart of their ad campaigns. Superseding live events At a time when social distancing makes live events and product launches problematic, AR can be used to digitally create immersive and emotionally-charged experiences that generate buzz around a brand. In fact, AR improves upon the in-person experience by allowing marketers to scale events beyond the natural boundaries of any physical location and enable hundreds of thousands of participants from all over the world to share the experience simultaneously. This will revolutionize how audiences engage with live music and sports events in particular, enabling unique forms of interaction. By augmenting the user’s immediate environment with a digital presentation layer, AR allows users to interact with players and performers in a way that is not possible with a traditional passive offline event, and to be true participants rather than simply viewers. AR reduces the need for traditional physical events and paves the way for a new era of participative, immersive and scalable online experiences, with visceral and emotional engagement. The perfect combination of tech evolution, advanced connectivity and contextual circumstance means this is the year AR really comes into its own. By taking advantage of product visualization, interactive advertising and immersive digital events, brands can leverage AR as a game-changer for marketing in 2020.

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YouTube Will Not Show Advertising on Videos About Coronavirus

Article | December 8, 2020

Coronavirus, which emerged in Wuhan, China, has become one of the most talked about topics in a short time. Especially on social media, many sharing and informing about Coronavirus was made. However, channels that prepare content related to Corona virus on YouTube will not be able to earn income from these videos due to the company policy. Last month, the YouTube channel Insider made a video about the Coronavirus. As of February 11, YouTube announced that it is treating the Coronavirus as a sensitive issue. All videos shot about the Corona virus on YouTube will not be able to receive ads until the next announcement, and therefore will not be able to earn revenue from these videos.

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Digital Billboard Brand Marketing Budget & Strategy

Article | December 8, 2020

Starting first with the budget: What do you want to invest on a daily basis in your brand? My recommendation here in a local area is going to be $20 per day per brand channel. So what that means is, if you want to be on a digital billboard on a highway, that’s $20. If you want to be on Facebook for the day, that’s $20. On Instagram is $20. If you want to be on YouTube, that’s another $20. And so you can quickly get to where your budget is roughly anywhere from $60 to $100 a day, whether you’re on anywhere three to five different channels. I definitely recommend multi-channel, that’s going to build trust. Because if somebody sees you in all these different places, every time they see you, it’s just another element of trust (which would avoid questions like: “Is dropshipping legal?” or “Is dropshipping dead?”). You’re covering all areas. Digital billboards on the highway are extremely powerful because it makes you instantly think, like this business is on a little bit higher level than the other businesses.

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Digital Advertising Rates Are Down by 30%, IAC Says

Article | December 8, 2020

It turns out that the digital advertising industry has two problems. The one you’ve probably heard more about is simply loss of budgets. With large segments of the U.S. economy basically shut down, there is little reason for airlines, hoteliers, casinos, retailers, auto makers, film studios, or restaurants to advertise at the same pace. And small businesses are more focused on meeting payroll and staying alive than on advertising and marketing. But there is a related and logical, if slightly less obvious issue, in particular in the digital advertising market: Ad rates are falling hard. It isn’t just that there are fewer ads—the remaining ones are generating less revenue.

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