Actually every other media company purchasing traffic is doing the exact same thing, since bought traffic is bot traffic. Some even boast that all of their traffic is paid for through Taboola and Outbrain, etcetera. Online marketers need to have actually detailed analytics to see where their ads ran and whether those sites are doing the exact same shenanigans as Ozy.
If you are a publisher, stop buying traffic sub cent per click. If you are an online marketer, begin asking questions about traffic acquisition.

The Ozy Media scandal is a flameout for the ages, total with hugely inflated audience numbers and an FBI probe over the alleged impersonation of a YouTube executive on a due diligence call with Goldman Sachs.
But securities fraud isnt the only fraud Ozy has been accused of.
In late 2017, Craig Silverman of BuzzFeed blew the whistle on how Ozy purchased big amounts of inexpensive junk traffic to boost visitors for sponsored material spent for by a whos- who of blue chip marketers, including JPMorgan Chase, Visa, KFC, Amazon.
On the surface, these sponsored stories seemed some of Ozys most popular content in between May and October of that year, based upon data from Similarweb mentioned by BuzzFeed.
All the timeless signs of invalid traffic were on screen: stacked ads, pop-unders, off-page ads, pixel stuffing and ad-slot rejuvenating.
Yet online marketers obviously took little notice– or possibly willfully disregarded.
We asked the professionals: What can online marketers do to prevent being deceived by unethical publishers, and what can marketers gain from Ozys collapse?
Augustine Fou, independent ad scams researcher
Marc Goldberg, CRO, Method Media Intelligence
Kathleen Booth, CMO,
Josh Schmiesing, CMO, Tubular Labs

Augustine Fou, independent ad fraud scientist
Ozy was total amateur hour with regard to ad scams and juicing their numbers. Its amusing to see everybody getting on this weeks bandwagon kicking Ozy when its down– and companies distancing themselves from Ozy– when Craig Silverman reported on Ozy back in 2017 and no one listened.
Actually every other media business buying traffic is doing the exact same thing, because bought traffic is bot traffic. Some even boast that all of their traffic is spent for through Taboola and Outbrain, etcetera. Marketers need to have actually detailed analytics to see where their ads ran and whether those websites are doing the exact same shenanigans as Ozy.
If all you get is a number from a verification businesss report, like the portion of void traffic, for instance, you cant repair anything with that. But if you have a list of sites and apps that are cheating, you can add them to blocklists or remove them from your inclusion lists.
Marc Goldberg, CRO, Method Media Intelligence
The Ozy story continues to emphasize the gravity of confirmation for all media buys. Knowing your representative or fulfilling the CEO is not an appropriate alternative to confirming your ad dollars.
At finest, some publishers are oblivious of the concerns as they continue to buy traffic to satisfy a marketers request. At worst, some publishers are malicious and their bottom line is to take your advertisement dollars.
Stop buying traffic sub penny per click if you are a publisher. Begin asking concerns about traffic acquisition if you are a marketer. Do your diligence on acquisitions and growth strategies if you are a financier.
Kathleen Booth, CMO,
What occurred with Ozy Media is the perfect illustration of the distinction in between “spread metrics” and “relationship metrics.”
The most successful media companies acknowledge the importance of providing first-rate user experiences and developing relationships with their audiences. Those relationships are best measured by metrics, such as the size of their opt-in customer databases, the variety of returning versus brand-new visitors to their site, site churn rate, visitor session length, social engagement and so forth.
Relationship metrics are tough to phony. By contrast, spread metrics, such as the number of Facebook page likes or general site traffic– both of which were purchased and paid for by Ozy– do not necessarily equate to meaningful outcomes for marketers, and are a lot easier to fake or purchase.
As marketers, its incumbent upon us to request the right data up front and then to evaluate the results were receiving from our advertisement spend, not just by the variety of clicks or views we get however by results– believe subscriptions, conversions or purchases– that have a real influence on our organizations.
Josh Schmiesing, CMO, Tubular Labs
Ozy had a lot of the ideal aspects to be a significant cross-media platform business and they did see some success in social video, generally speaking. A look at their engagement rates, from remarks to view time to the velocity of seeing on social video needs to have been red flags to purchasers assessing their audience claims.
The whole saga underlines the need for broad adoption of separately measured requirements for audience reach and engagement that will help develop more trust and unlock the real potential of the market.
Responses have been modified and condensed.