Google is working with industry body the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) in a pilot programme to block illegitimate and robotic ad traffic originating from data centres.
Google is providing TAG with its database of blacklisted data centre IP addresses. The blacklist identifies bots that masquerade as human visitors, and that use User-Agent strings indistinguishable from typical web browsers.
Other companies, including Facebook, Yahoo, Dstillery, MediaMath, Quantcast, Rubicon Project and TubeMogul will also share their data-centre blacklists in the pilot programme.
Why should you care?
Google’s blacklist blocked nearly nine percent of data-centre traffic in May, an indication as to the size of the problem.
A cooperative approach is needed to combat ad fraud and, with the likes of Google, Facebook and Yahoo working together, the signs are promising.
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Jeremy and Mark are two of the partners behind SureFire Search. Despite their deceptively youthful appearances, both have worked in search marketing for many years. To put that in context, Google didn't even exist when Jeremy started.