Digital marketing · November 18, 2022

Steps for Managing Ad Fraud Detection

Ad fraud is a serious threat to the health of your marketing campaigns. If you’re not paying attention, it can easily slip past you and waste your valuable budget on fake traffic or, even worse, malware-infected computers. However, there are some simple steps to ensure that ad fraud does not affect your campaigns, and the first one is to know about ad fraud detection. This guide covers a few basics of ad fraud that help you avoid ad fraud scams!

Types of Ad Fraud

Understanding the different types of ad fraud is essential in managing it. Ad fraud can come in many forms and attempt to deceive advertisers, including click fraud and domain spoofing.

Click fraud is when bots click on ads, even though no human has visited the site and seen that ad before. This can be done by targeting a specific audience (like people who like baseball) or by sending out generic traffic from multiple fake IP addresses. Domain spoofing is when bots register domains that look like legitimate sites to drive traffic away from legitimate websites. The bot owner may also attempt to gain access to a publisher’s account by using stolen credentials or posing as an employee (a practice known as social engineering).

Consult a third-party measurement service.

Third-party measurement services provide a more objective view of your ad performance. These services can also help you identify and understand the impact of ad fraud on your business. These businesses also have exponentially greater experience with ongoing fraud trends and ad fraud detection, making fraud prevention more efficient.

Block specific bots and users.

If you suspect a bot or user is fraudulent, there are several ways to identify them. One of the most effective methods is using an ad network that can block specific bots and users. This is likely what your ad network will recommend, as it’s one of the easiest solutions available.

You’ll want to know who these bots are first so you can ask your ad network what identifiers they look for when identifying fraudulent traffic. It’s also important that this information isn’t shared with everyone—if anyone knows how to defeat your fraud detection system, then there’s nothing stopping them from doing so!

Cross-reference your Advertisement Data

Once you’ve got your ad spend and placement data, it’s time to cross-reference it with your behaviour data. For example, if you notice that many users are clicking on ads for luxury cars but aren’t browsing car websites or looking at cars on e-commerce sites (and thus would have no reason to click on those ads), that’s a red flag for fraud.

Similarly, if the same user sees ads for hotel rooms at hotels that are located far away from each other—or even different cities—it could be an indicator of automated bot traffic intended to lure them into booking rooms at one location when they want a room at another location.

Check your landing pages for common problems.

You can find out if your landing pages are being used for fraudulent activities and stop them from happening by checking for common problems.

  • Check for broken links: If a URL is broken or has been changed, it can be used in nefarious ways.
  • Check for malicious code: Ensure you’re not accidentally running any scripts on your site, especially if you don’t know where they’re coming from.
  • Check for hidden redirects: If someone is trying to redirect users somewhere else without their knowledge, this can mean trouble. You’ll want to ensure there are no hidden links in the footer or anywhere else on your page that could lead people elsewhere without telling them first.
  • Check the user experience (UX): For example, if a user only sees one thing when they land on your page but then gets an error message saying something else was supposed to happen at some point (or vice versa), they’ll lose trust in what they see and may not stick around long enough before leaving altogether, which means fewer conversions overall!

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