Ad fraud has inflicted ad campaigns for years. Unfortunately, the problem seems to be growing exponentially and shows no sign of slowing down. Ad fraud is difficult to combat, but it is absolutely necessary for businesses to do so because it destroys campaign ROI and wastes precious resources.
In order to determine the best way to combat ad fraud and stop it from destroying campaign ROI, we should look at each type of ad fraud, and the impact it has on businesses.
What is Ad Fraud, and How is it Perpetrated?
While there are many different definitions of ad fraud, according to Anura.io, ad fraud is the practice of viewing, clicking, converting or generating false interactions with any web asset for the sole purpose of earning money directly or indirectly". And it is essential to note that despite widespread belief, internet bots are not the only practitioners of ad fraud. Human fraud farms are used to commit ad fraud too.
No matter the type of ad fraud methods used by bots, malware, and humans, they all negatively impact on campaign ROI. That being said, to combat the methods used, it is necessary to know the difference in the methods so each one can be targeted to ensure maximum success at fighting back.
Click fraud involves the use of internet bots, malware, or click farms to skew the results of pay per click campaigns by having bots and human fraud farms click links to generate leads for the advertiser, and the fraudster earns marketing dollars. Another form of this is known as lead generation. Lead generation fraud describes the process of something or someone filling out a lead form, but not out of genuine interest for the products or services provided by the company, but solely to steal marketing dollars. This type of ad fraud is most often the one undertaken by human fraud farms, where stolen information is used to complete lead forms in order to gain financial compensation.
False page impressions is another fraud method used that occurs when internet bots or click farms visit a site to falsely boost traffic.
Affiliate fraud happens where traffic is diverted from legitimate sites to other websites in an attempt to gain referral dollars.
Unfortunately, the presence of ad fraud is growing exponentially, and it shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. It's tough to combat ad fraud because the internet bots responsible for fraudulent activity are always evolving and changing their behaviors - which makes them incredibly hard to detect. At first glance, the behavior of modern internet bots is seemingly human-like. The bots can click on ads along with a myriad of other tasks, such as playing videos and performing searches, to make them appear less suspicious. It's for this reason that they're a favorite tool of fraudsters to help defraud marketers.
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Ad Fraud's Impact on Campaign ROI
The types of ad fraud perpetrated against businesses, and how it's done, may vary, but they all impact on campaign ROI. Adobe has recently estimated that around28 percent of web traffic is fraudulent. This myriad of deceptive traffic was deemed to have come from bots and click farms - both unwanted sources.
Online ad fraud has a devastating impact. Advertiser confidence suffers as a result of ad fraud, it's an unnecessary expenditure, and the fraudulent impressions and leads results in a lack of meaningful engagement that could result in conversions and leads.
Lead generation fraud, in particular, has increased exponentially over the past few years, and industry experts have been warning against it because it reduces campaign value and has a significant negative impact on campaign ROI. Juniper recently estimated that around $42 billion would be lost as a direct result of ad fraud on an annual basis. This is attributed to the ever-increasing complexity of techniques used by fraudsters, both internet bots, and humans, to hide their fraudulent activity.
When leads are fraudulently generated and misrepresented to advertisers, the success of the campaign and the demographics successfully targeted can't be assessed. Incentivized browsing is very harmful to the world of online advertising. If campaigns are left without a solution in place to combat ad fraud, businesses run the risk of losing considerable sums of money. To help combat the risk of ad fraud, businesses should consider partnering with a company offering ad fraud solutions. Failure to do so can result in a devastating impact on an ad campaign's return on investment.
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How to Know if Your Business is at Risk of Ad Fraud
When acquiring leads from a network, it's essential to ensure you have a strong relationship with the network before accepting leads for your campaign. Even when you feel that you can trust a business network, there's always the chance that the leads may not be coming from reputable sources.
If your publisher is helping to broker leads through a network, the chances are that they may not be coming from a reputable source. It's possible to manage leads responsibly and detect and remove fraudulent leads at the point of entry.
The truth is, no business is entirely safe from lead generation fraud when they're going it alone. There are options available in the industry to help your business stay safe and make the most of ad campaigns without running the risk of losing out money to fraudsters.
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The Importance of Ad Fraud Solutions
Working with ad fraud solutions can help your business in a number of ways. You can protect your ROI and ensure that your ad campaign is as meaningful as possible. Having the support of a reputable ad fraud solutions company helps you to stay one step ahead of ad fraud and reduces the likelihood that your business wastes money on an ineffective ad campaign.
Anura.io is the provider of best-in-class ad fraud solutions that can help your business make the most of its ad campaigns. By utilizing a number of industry-leading solutions, Anura can help you to detect fraud and take the appropriate action in a heartbeat.
Anura has helped countless businesses transform the way in which their advertising campaigns work while staying safe from ad fraud. To find out more about the quality service we provide, contact us today.