How to prevent and detect fraudulent activities of ad clicks & ad views?There is money to be made from online advertising, but the companies that spend money to put those ads together expect the publisher to be responsible when it comes to ad clicks and ad views. It is not unheard of for irresponsible ad networks or website owners to use or allow automated bots, software and even people to inflate the number of views and clicks being delivered so that they can increase their own profits. This can end up being very costly to the advertiser, which in turn could lead to them lowering their rates or switching to use another ad vendor. The question is how to spot and avoid this type of fraudulent activity. It can be done, so let’s look at a few steps that you can take:
Only deal with respected ad networksThere are many different ad networks doing business out there today, not all are of the same high quality. If the ad network you are looking at offers rates and deals that seem a little too good to be true, that should be viewed as a red flag and you should investigate further. Avoid low-quality ad networks and websites. Look for ad networks that have been in business for many years, and which have built a solid reputation over that time. Their rate might not be the cheapest but your ROI is higher with them over the long haul.
Verify all ad purchasesTo identify bad traffic sources, you need to do a little due diligence. Take some time to browse each of the sites, and see what you can find out about their reputation. This sounds really simple but it is indeed a very effective preventive action in filtering out bad and fake websites. Also a simple search about the ad network can yield many details as people are more than happy to share their experiences online, especially if they had a bad one.
Use your own ad serverThe best way to effectively track data and metrics is to use your own demand-side adserver. That way, you can double-check the supply-side platform’s reports and compare your results with other ad networks or sites. If you see a huge discrepancy, take time to investigate and find out the reasons.
Monitor reportsWhen you sign up with an ad network, you should be given access to all kinds of different reports that show what each ad is doing. Numbers that somehow don’t seem right and unusual patterns will jump off the page, which is yet another red flag to be investigate further.
Check your suite of ad security toolsA good adserver will offer a suite of tools that will help you stay on top of fraudulent activities. Before you sign up, check to see which type of security tools that they have available. The more they have to offer, the more committed they are to preventing clicking and viewing fraud. That is the sort of company that you want to help with your ad business.
Posted in Ad Fraud April 20, 2016 (updated July 18, 2017)
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