Spider.io is a name you’re likely to hear a lot of in the next few days. The London-based company is the latest acquisition of Google, which purchased the company for an unknown sum.
With the purchase, Google hopes to target fraud committed through online advertising, thus boosting the integrity of one of the search giant’s major revenue streams.
As a startup that specializes in weeding out phony clicks surrounding online ads, Spider.io is certainly the type of company that Google can capitalize on immediately.
Spider.io has been operating for three years, according to TechCrunch, which adds that the startup “has tech that will help Google identify bad behavior around their content in video and display ads on the web, to help them get a more accurate picture of what is and isn’t succeeding.”
Google commented on the purchase with a blog post this week: “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.”
TechCrunch notes that Spider.io is only a seven-man operation, and that the product is niche, placing this at a smaller valuation, but adds “the Spider.io team brings some impressive talent to Google’s ranks, including three PhDs and an ex-Yahoo natural language processing and artificial intelligence expert.”
With Spider.io’s technology, Google will be able to detect attacks starting from malware-infested PCs. “Often these hijacked computers are programmed by their attackers to place a high volume of ad requests, thus skewing the numbers and defrauding online advertisers out of millions of dollars,” TechCrunch explains. “An FT article from last year revealed that one botnet last year managed to falsify billions of web-based ad clicks, sometimes accounting for as much as two-thirds of the sum total of visits to some websites.”
Spider.io efforts should be a nice complement to the rigorous work Google has brought to the world of SEO since 2011.