An Internet bot, is an application that runs automated tasks over the Internet. These bots are sometimes the cause of invalid clicks on an ad unit. Invalid clicks are not generated by people but are clicks by automated software or robots. According to a 2015 study by the Association of National Advertisers bot fraud, cost the industry $6.3 billion dollars last year.
While we used to think of link-bait, low-tier sites as the most commonly affected by ad fraud, premium publishers are also at risk. Why fraudsters doing this? Motivations are different depending on the guilty party. For example, exchanges and networks get reach, providing them with massive inventory and publishers get pageviews and boosted click counts for higher CPMs and more CPC revenue.
So what can publishers do to protect themselves?
- The first and easiest way to identify fraud is to monitor your traffic. Know your top traffic sources and be on the lookout for changes. Set up alerts to notify you of any unusual activity.
- You should also keep an eye on ad campaign performance. If an ad placement typically garners a 0.5% CTR and you’ve got one measuring 1.2%, that should raise a red flag. While your advertisers want great performance, they need accuracy and transparency more.
- You may also want to use a domain or bot detection service to monitor your site for invalid click and traffic activity. These services can help identify and block non-human traffic.
- And lastly, be sure your all of your vendors are committed to stopping invalid ad click and impression activity.
Adventive is dedicated to providing invalid click protection for publishers. Using automated algorithms and manual analysis, we have developed processes and technology that work to identify and filter bot activity. We continually work to proactively identify and filter sources of bot activity through investigation and regular updates to our filters. This ensures that we detect fraudulent click activity and remove it so that invalid clicks are proactively filtered from reaching campaign analytics.
Feel free to get in touch if you have questions or are concerned about fraudulent activity on your site. We’re here to help.