That’s what Compete is suggesting, after discovering a disturbing practice that appears to inflate impression counts–which obviously leads to greater revenues for the media site in question. How does it work?
Take the often used “slideshow” that mainstream news sites are using these days. When you click on the “next” image, the page loads a new image, but also loads a new ad impression–even if that ad happens to be exactly the same.
Here’s how it looks:
OK, so far not to shady, right? Except Compete warns that some sites are automatically triggering the next image, even if the page is not the active browser tab!
While this is not quite on the same realm of “click fraud”–and no one’s (yet) suggesting that this practice is a deliberate attempt to inflate impressions–advertisers need to be on the lookout for this kind of stuff. When you pay for an “impression” you’re really saying that you are paying for each “view.” In these cases, you may not be getting a reader’s full attention!