Google picks up ad fraud detector

Steven Loeb · February 21, 2014 · Short URL:'s technology will immediately be integrated into Google's video and display ads products

For all of the services and features that Google offers, including its own e-mail service, social network and payment service, the company still relies heavily on video and display advertising in its search results for revenue.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, Google earned revenues of $10.55 billion from its own sites, mainly through search advertising. That was 67% of total Google's $15.7 in total revenues. Literally, the last thing it needs is to have that part of its businesses hacked.

So, in that spirit, Google has gone out and purchased, a company whose entire mission is to fighting and combat ad fraud. The purchase was announced on Friday.

No financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but it was revealed that the company's technology will be integrated into Google's video and display ads products Google's video and display ads products, where they will complement the company's existing efforts.

The long-term goal for this purchase is for Google to "improve the metrics that advertisers and publishers use to determine the value of digital media and give all parties a clearer, cleaner picture of what campaigns and media are truly delivering strong results," Neal Mohan, Google’s vice president for display advertising, wrote in a blog post.

It will also allow Google to scale its effort to "weed out bad actors and improve the entire digital ecosystem."

London-based was founded in 2010. Its technology detects attacks that have originated from PCs that have been infected by malware.

For example, in March of last year the company uncovered a new botnet called Chameleon, which was emulating human visitors on select websites, which caused billions of display ad impressions to be served to the botnet. 

In all, the botnet was said to be costing advertisers over $6 million in total revenue.

It is exactly this type of fraud that Google is hoping will be able to prevent from happening in its own ads going forward.

"Advertising helps fund the digital world we love today -- inspiring videos, informative websites, entertaining apps and services that connect us with friends around the world," Mohan wrote.

"But this vibrant ecosystem only flourishes if marketers can buy media online with the confidence that their ads are reaching real people, that results they see are based on actual interest. To grow the pie for everyone, we need to take head on the issue of online fraud."

This is Google's fifth acquisition this year. 

The company bought smart thermostat company Nest for $3.2 billion last month, the most the company has ever spent on a startup acquisition. Google also purchased cybersecurity service Impermium, artificial intelligence company Deepmind, and sound authentication firm SlickLogin.

Google could not be reached for further comment. 

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Impermium provides a subscription-based anti-spam service that protects against the biggest threats in the social web today, allowing social application developers to remain focused on their core business. Built by the former leaders of the Yahoo! anti-spam and security teams, the company's RESTful Web Services-based solution enables site operators to prevent and mitigate most types of suspicious and abusive transactions, with real-time and batch monitoring of web transactions, and hosted mitigation solutions to manage suspicious users.

Impermium provides the essential anti-abuse and security services for many of the Internet's most popular consumer web sites and social media engagement platforms. The company’s investors include Accel Partners, Archimedes Capital, AOL Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Freestyle Capital, Greylock Discovery Fund, Highland Capital Partners, Morado Ventures, and the Social+Capital Partnership.


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