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Case Study

How Curiosity Media Solved Troubling Mobile Redirect Issues for SpanishDict.com

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Company

Curiosity Media is the team behind SpanishDict.com, a leading Spanish learning website that provides Spanish language reference and learning materials for millions of students every year. The website’s most-loved features include millions of free, high-quality dictionary translations, conjugations for every Spanish verb, and real-time comparisons of sophisticated translation engines.

- Lauren Hefferon

Product Manager at Curiosity Media
“Preserving ad dollars and ad reporting was our number one priority. Malvertising Defense was able to prove that we would never have to sacrifice revenue when choosing to block malicious ads.”

- Lauren Hefferon

Product Manager at Curiosity Media
“The HUMAN team is truly solving the unsolvable, and as such, we consider them one of our most valuable partners.”
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Challenge

For Curiosity Media, malvertising reared its ugly head primarily through malicious redirects on SpanishDict.com. The team was fighting user complaints about redirects and working to remedy the frustrating user experiences that they caused.

Curiosity Media found that their engineering team simply didn’t have the resources to keep up with the constantly changing tactics employed by malicious actors. Whenever they tracked down a bad actor, the delivery methods or attack types would change. It became clear, as larger and more frequent malvertising attacks were hitting the publisher, that using their engineering resources to manually trace and turn off campaigns was not sustainable. 

Curiosity Media was playing a losing game and needed a better solution.

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Solution

The Curiosity Media team needed a third-party solution that specialized in malvertising prevention to help solve the problem. They turned to HUMAN’s Malvertising Defense.

The team was specifically concerned with ensuring that both ad reporting and ad serving continued unaltered and uninterrupted from the current state. Curiosity Media was most attracted to Malvertising Defense because of primary features that helped to ensure this very thing:
  • No Reduction in Ad Revenue: Malvertising Defense allows creative to render, but stops the malicious action from executing. Malvertisers still have to pay for impressions (leaving ad dollars intact), but users aren’t affected by malicious code.
  • No Maintenance: The Malvertising Defense integration is simple, and it effectively blocks malicious ads with no manual intervention required. This was especially important for the bandwidth-constrained engineering team.
  • White Glove Customer Service: HUMAN’s hands-on and eager customer service team goes above and beyond, from implementation to swiftly responding to customer inquiries.

RESULTS

Since implementing Malvertising Defense on mobile web, Curiosity Media has been able to pretty much forget about malvertising and malicious redirects in that channel. The problem has completely stopped.


Rather than simply providing software, the HUMAN team works regularly with the AdOps team at Curiosity Media to provide monthly reporting along with important insights to help them improve operations.

In addition, Curiosity Media has seen measurable improvements in a few key areas on SpanishDict.com:

  • Increased Monthly Page Views: After implementing Malvertising Defense, SpanishDict.com saw an 80% increase in monthly page views per user, due to increased content and an improved user experience.
  • Increased User Satisfaction: SpanishDict.com has seen user complaints and comments around redirects completely vanish almost overnight. In the first year after implementing Malvertising Defense, SpanishDict.com has only had 2 complaints of malicious ads reaching end traffic.
  • Increased User Engagement: Thanks to Malvertising Defense, SpanishDict.com has seen growth across their user engagement KPIs, boosting their ad revenue while continuing to maintain a safe experience for their end users. 

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