What is ad fraud?
Ad fraud occurs when skilled individuals create fake websites and mimic human behaviours by directing ‘botnets’ to the site to increase visitor numbers. The fraudsters then use the illegitimate viewership numbers to fool advertisers into serving ads on their fake sites. Furthermore, the bots are then directed to click on the ad which earns the fraudsters.
To combat the problem of ad fraud requires sophisticated technology to understand and detect what separates human behaviour from non-human behaviour. For example, real people buy things with credit cards on websites whereas bots don’t. Also, real people don’t visit tens of thousands of websites every single day in a short period of time and bots do.
Paradigmata Media effectively combats criminal activity by actually differentiating between robotic and human interaction within online advertising and publishing, enterprise business networks, e-commerce transactions, financial systems, and more, allowing organizations to remove and prevent fraudulent traffic and activity.
Paradigmata Media isn’t the only taking on bad advertising. Last year, Google said it disabled 2 million bad ads; banned 14,000 advertisers for selling counterfeit goods; halted ad-serving on tens of thousands of sites, disabled more than 5,000 AdSense accounts for violations of copyright policy; disabled 400,000 sites from hiding malware; and disabled 10,000 sites from promoting get-rich-quick schemes.
The idea is that the more you measure your advertising, search marketing or ad campaigns, the more you’ll be keen to continue using Google’s products. Traffic Scanner is a free tool open to advertisers, agencies, DSP providers, publishers and competitors to plug in their websites and advertising to get an idea of the quality of the impressions they are being served against. Users need to insert a Traffic Scanner pixel into their display campaign or website and the tool will start loading a daily report.
We all want to ensure that marketers don’t waste ad spend unnecessarily on non-viewable inventory or non-human traffic. Let’s remember that sales is the metric that drives business success, so let’s measure the effectiveness of advertising based on outcomes, and not merely on inputs.
Advertisers will lose $7.2 billion globally to bots in 2016
In 2015, White Ops and the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) worked together again to repeat the study, this time with a larger group of participants: 49 advertisers versus 36 in 2014. These participants deployed White Ops detection tags on their digital advertising to measure bot fraud, or non-human traffic. Data was collected over 61 days from August 1 to September 30, 2015. All participants received proprietary information on their buys. The aggregate data is reported in the 2015 Bot Baseline study, and highlights are:
- In 2015, advertisers had a range of bot percentages varying from 3 to 37 percent, compared to a 2 to 22 percent in 2014. But the overall rate of fraud was basically unchanged.
- Media with higher CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) was more vulnerable to bots, as these segments provide a stronger economic incentive for botnet operators to commit fraud.
- Sourcing traffic (any method by which publishers acquire more visitors through third parties) results in greater fraud. Sourced traffic had more than three times the bot percentage than the study average.
- The annual financial impact of bot fraud ranged between $250,000 and $42 million for the 49 participating advertisers and averaged about $10 million per participant. The advertising industry overall could lose approximately $7.2 billion globally to bots in 2016.
Find out what Paradigmata Media can do for you or your company. For further information please contact: M.Lindeblad@AmsterdamToday.eu Digital Media Consultant.
Photo credit: GotCredit / iWoman / CC BY