You will often come across advertisements online, data events, or even clicks that turn out to be false and just a method to get money. This practice of creating fraudulent advertising to generate revenue is known as ad fraud or invalid traffic. Now, ad frauds are usually banner ads, video ads or clicks.
Ad fraud is actually a quite significant problem. It is known to cause damage of almost $20 billion every year. Ad fraud in digital marketing manipulates the traffic and user activity, scamming impressions and conversions. The statistics are changed and data appears distorted so that marketers are left confused and they fail to discover the fraud before it has already happened.
Kinds of Ad Fraud
- Cookie stuffing
Cookies track a user’s path from affiliates to source sites and every time an affiliate link is clicked, there is an exchange. Now, when the user comes to the source site, it pays for the affiliate. In cookie stuffing, the stats and data of the source site are distorted and the site ends up paying much more than usual.
- Traffic fraud
Generating traffic onto your site is a way of earning money but this traffic is very easy to imitate. Traffic fraud is imitation and manipulation of online traffic to con analytics into spending more for results based on data that is false.
- Impression fraud
This kind of ad fraud falsifies the impressions which are an important part of CPM-based operations. These fake impressions are traded in place of the real ones, delivering no actual benefits. Such trading can take down the entire website.
- Click fraud
In digital marketing, clicks generate revenue. What click fraud does is manipulate the ad activity to increase the number of CPC ad clicks and so you might see a large number of clicks but hardly any positive results.
- Action fraud
Action Fraud is quite complicated. Actions distort the very elements that move money by imitating user activity and can actually end an entire campaign.
Other types of ad frauds include retargeting fraud, conversion fraud, and affiliate fraud.
How to Detect Ad Fraud?
While ad fraud is difficult to catch, it does not mean that you cannot detect it. If you have a single app and a single campaign it is easier to protect. However, the following indicators can detect ad fraud:
- Similar install behavior for a few consecutive installs.
- Many installs from one particular device.
- A very large number of downloads from one particular source.
- A very short period of time between a click and an install.
How Can You Stop Ad Fraud?
A few simple points are given below to help you stay alert and prevent ad fraud.
- Know how your publisher is generating traffic before starting your campaign.
- Invest in third party solutions that monitor campaigns and check for ad fraud.
- Make sure that you have clear verification protocols and an immediate algorithm of actions in case of any suspicious activity.
This was all about ad frauds. Thus, adopt the required steps to stay safe.