Version in Russian language

Fraudulent earnings of fake News sites

The income of fake news sites

Forbes and Business Insider are very well-known news sites, so forbesbusinessinsider.com - is this their joint project?

No. It has nothing in common with the mentioned Forbes and Business Insider. In fact, this is a site that copies entire articles from different sources and publishes them on its pages with only minor changes.

Today, there are 350 million registered domains on the Internet. Experts say that it is impossible to calculate how many of them fake news sites are. But, like real news resources, they earn a lot of money by selling advertising to large companies.

Amazon and Google are the most solid players in the field of online advertising. They earn billions of dollars a year by selling advertising space on various platforms.

When Google's attention was turned away forbesbusinessinsider.com they have stopped placing their ads on this website, but Amazon still does it.

Site forbesbusinessinsider.com it was created by a Pakistani web design company. One of the designers of the company assures that the project was conceived and was made in order to be displayed as high as possible in the list of search results.

"You don't have to be a hacker to achieve this," says digital advertising expert Augustine Fou. "With a little programming knowledge, you can develop a news resource using only a ready-made template".

laredotribune.com – this is another project that, at first glance, is an ordinary news site of one of the towns in Texas. It contains stories about local residents and other information. But the articles have no publication dates, there is no information about their authors, and the website loads very slowly due to the large number of advertisements placed.

And yet, over the past three months, it has 3.7 million views, according to data from the analytical firm SimilarWeb. However, most of the site's visitors are fictitious. In this case, bots are used (a robot or "bot" for short is a special computer program written to perform certain tasks) to create the appearance of high visitor activity, providing owners of such sites with real profit.

"We assume that the resource earns at least $ 100.000 a month", says Vlad Shvetsov, director of investigations at Social Puncher, a firm that has already exposed several similar news sites.

"Google, as well as the advertising industry in general, continue to ignore the indisputable evidence that they pay money to scammers", says Vlad Shvetsov.

Dr. Augustine Fow agrees with this. "I understand why it is very difficult for Google to control this situation. Hundreds of thousands of applications and millions of sites use their advertising technology to earn money", says Fou. "But after so many years of waiting, they should start taking some effective measures themselves, and not wait for others to do it for them".

In response, Google representatives report that they are investing heavily in the fight against advertising fraud.