Google Enlists Spider to Keep the Web Safe for Advertisers

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has purchased fraud detection company Spider.io to help boost its efforts in preventing online fraud and create a safer, more profitable space for its advertisers, the company said Friday.

In a post on the company’s DoubleClick advertising blog, Google Vice President of Display Advertising Neal Mohan wrote: “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. 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.”

Mohan went on to call Spider.io “a company that has spent the past 3 years building a world-class ad fraud fighting operation.” Spider.io works to identify and prevent fake ad clicks. Advertisers have to pay for how many clicks they get on online advertisements, and hackers have defrauded advertisers out of millions of dollars by creating programs that repeatedly click on the ads.

Google’s end goal is to make advertising with the site more reliable, which will in turn drive up the cost of placing ads on Google. “Over the long term, our goal is 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. Also, by including spider.io’s fraud fighting expertise in our products, we can scale our efforts to weed out bad actors and improve the entire digital ecosystem,” Mohan said.

Google revealed in its fourth-quarter earnings report that the average cost per click for its ads dropped 11 percent year-over-year. The price of desktop-based ads is falling as more people switch to using mobile devices for their computing needs. Since mobile screens are smaller and consumers using mobile are often on the go and have less patience for being bombarded with ads, Google can’t fully make up that loss with mobile advertisements alone.

So even though Google saw a 31 percent increase in total paid clicks during the quarter, the company has cause to do whatever it can to increase the price of desktop advertisements. The ability to ensure a high-quality, fraud-free environment for advertisers through acquiring a company like Spider.io will help Google reach that goal.

Google has also been making tons of acquisitions in fields unrelated to its Internet search business as a way to continue growing revenue as ad dollars shrink. In recent months, Google has purchased several robotics companies and an airplane hangar in which to store its robots, in addition to the $3.2 billion purchase of smart thermostat maker Nest.

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