Myspace made a huge comeback this summer… but it was really just ad fraud :(

Rather than a ray of hope for its financially strained parent company, Time Inc., the surge in traffic turned out to be part of a large ad fraud scam.


October 30, 2017

Over the summer, Myspace noticed that millions of people were visiting a new video page on its site.

But rather than a ray of hope for its financially strained parent company, Time Inc., the unexpected surge turned out to be part of a large ad fraud scam.

A desperate Myspace took some desperate measures…

Between May and September, the site’s video page got nearly 10m hits and 450m pageviews, accounting for nearly 90% of the site’s referral traffic — all thanks to a deal with a 3rd party ad vendor called ScreenRush.

But, last week, a BuzzFeed News investigation found that traffic to the domain had come from sketchy sources — and 90% of the “impressions” happened without human intervention, using automatic redirects and page refreshes to generate tons of fake ad impressions.

The page reportedly only generated 1.3 million video real impressions and roughly $13k in revenue during its life. It seems that Myspace, desperate for precious video ad dollars, failed to inspect the real source of their “viral success.”

So who was making money off these “views?”

Apparently, a group of “ad industry insiders” has been profiting from ‘zombie websites’,” like the one on Myspace and other big publishers like GateHouse media.

And, while Screenrush and Myspace both deny knowledge of the scam, someone’s definitely got a horse in this race (we’re betting it’s the former).

Just another lesson to publishers hoping to float themselves with digital ad revenue: if your traffic seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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