Google Acquires an ad fraud company founded by an ex DoC PhD student


image og Douglas de Jager

Google have announced the acquisition of a world-class ad fraud fighting company led by founder Douglas de Jager an ex DoC PhD student.

Douglas founded the company just three years ago . The company made a name for itself in March 2013 when it identified a botnet called Chameleon that it claimed cost advertisers $6 million in revenues.  Douglas had previously co-founded Byteplay, which produced a map-based property search engine which was subsequently  acquired by Zoopla.

The Chief Scientist Simon Overell and Chief Architect Ashley Brown at are also ex Department of Computing students.

The problem for Google and its advertisers is that it's not so easy to weed out  botnets that act as users and try to drive up revenues for sites that don't deserve it. Such botnets work by simulating clicks. Advertisers, who think the clicks are real, are charged for these. Google wants to make the relationship between the metrics it provides to advertisers and the actual number of people who are viewing its ads as accurate and fraud free as possible so assuring their clients  that their ads are actually reaching their target audiences. has developed such fraud detection technology designed to discover this malicious coding and scams that are embedded within links and media. Google plans to immediately integrate this technology within its video and display advertisement products.

Google says about the acquisition that:

Our immediate priority is to include this fraud detection technology in our video and display ads products, where they will complement our existing efforts. Over the long term, our goal is to improve the metrics that advertisers and publishers use to determine the value of digital media and give all parties a clearer, cleaner picture of what campaigns and media are truly delivering strong results. Also, by including’s fraud fighting expertise in our products, we can scale our efforts to weed out bad actors and improve the entire digital ecosystem.

No financial details have been revealed concerning the deal.


Royston Ingram

Royston Ingram
Department of Computing

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