Aug 25, 2017

Google refunds clients for ad fraud, discusses plan to tackle issue

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Google is refunding money to publishers whose ads ran against websites that drive fake traffic, The Wall Street Journal's Lara O'Reilly reports . Google's advertising placement arm, DoubleClick Bid Manager, served ads against fake traffic over the course of a few months this year. Google is refunding publishers between 7-10% of their total ad buys, which is likely less than the amount of fraud their ads are exposed to. (Industry estimates put digital ad fraud at anywhere between 10-20% of all digital ads.)

Google is working on ways to automatically rebate clients when Google and their third-party technology partners serve ads next to invalid traffic, which is often ads that don't load right, or ads served to bots instead of people. Google's Director of Product Management for Advertising Scott Spencer tells WSJ that he thinks the hundreds of technology partners Google works with will be supportive of the effort.

Why it matters: Google has been working to combat ad fraud on its platform and through its advertising distribution arm for years. Spencer told Axios in January that it has a team of over 1,000 people regulating bad ads, in an effort to ensure that their platform is a brand safe and efficient platform for advertisers. Google removed 1.7 billion bad ads from its platform last year, according to its 2016 "Bad Ads" report.

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Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting these are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel and Lebanon, while Iran reported its sixth death from the virus. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 Friday to 433 on Saturday and Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 by Saturday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health

America's rundown roads add to farmers' struggles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.