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Protect Impression Integrity

Safeguard Your ads in the Digital Landscape: Protect Impression Integrity

Heavy payouts and unrealistic numbers are the real face of ad campaign impressions. The inflated numbers from invalid sources do not lead to conversions. In the app ecosystem, invalid clicks and impressions are a major concern as they question the ad’s effectiveness and result in a waste of ad spend. Every step of the ad campaign that led to app installs and events gets plagued by malicious activities that dampen your return on investment. Let’s dig up the dirt on the issue and shed some light on how invalid impressions can ruin your return on investments. Myth Behind Impressions Is a genuine audience viewing your ad? Heavy payout on invalid impressions costs brands massive wastage of ad spending. The validation of impressions can help a brand not just reduce ad spend. Most advertisers presume that fraud does not happen at the impression level but it’s a grey zone where fraudulent activities take place unnoticed. It’s a deceptive practice in the digital advertising ecosystem where advertisers are charged for ad impressions that are not viewed by real human users or are otherwise misrepresented. Apart from wastage of ad spend they can negatively impact the effectiveness of ad campaigns and return on investment (ROI). Here are some keys sources that generate invalid impressions: Impressions from MFA (Made-for-Adverising site). MFA sites are tailored for advertising purposes, ensuring a more intentional and engaged audience that does not result in conversions. Impressions from Low-quality content sites. The low-quality content site poses challenges in terms of the relevance and effectiveness of ad impressions. Multiple impressions served on the same device with Frequency capping (F-cap) violations. It can lead to overexposure and decreased impact, as the audience may become desensitized to the ads. Impressions from Ad Stacking. Multiple ads are layered on top of each other within a single ad placement. While only the top ad is visible, impressions for all stacked ads are counted, leading to inflated metrics. Domain Spoofing. Fraudsters misrepresent the website or app where the ad is displayed, making it seem like it is being shown on a premium site when it’s on a lower-quality or fraudulent one. Pixel Stuffing. Ads are hidden within small, transparent pixels on a webpage. These ads are technically “viewed” even though they are not visible to the user, resulting in fraudulent impressions. Cookie Stuffing. Cookies are forcibly placed on a user’s device without their knowledge or consent, allowing fraudsters to claim credit for ad impressions or actions across multiple sites. Proxy Traffic. Fraudsters use proxies to make it appear as though ad impressions are coming from different locations or devices, creating a false sense of diversity in the audience. What do the advertisers need to do? Impression validation Let’s start with where advertisers need to be vigilant before it’s too late. It’s the post-delivery of impression to Minimize wastage when payouts are on CPM. Impression Data collected from MMP must be validated and invalid impressions blocked. Not as simple but effective if you have the right solution in place to safeguard your ad spending. The process ensures Clean Traffic with Safe Placements Optimized Campaign Performance Restrict payouts for Invalid Impressions Improve ROAS The validation processes ensure that you payout on only verified impressions and maintain your impression integrity. To make it clear let’s clarify what’s the problem with click credibility. Fraud Clicks have a direct Impact on Revenue. The ad network ends up paying for fraud clicks to its sub-publishers, especially when the advertiser is equipped with fraud detection. Reconciliation Issues on both sides. The ad networks or agencies face major reconciliation issues with their suppliers as well as clients since fraud clicks always create discrepancies. Build up an untrustworthy Market Environment. Due to fraud and traffic inconsistencies, the trust level of each player in the market remains low, thus impacting the overall market environment. Higher Dependency on Advertisers Reports. In the absence of a fraud detection mechanism, the Networks are dependent upon advertiser reports to ascertain the validity of a click. Need for transparency and clarity for Advertisers Advertisers need both pre-MMP checks, post-MMP checks, and basic time-sensitive checks. These checks should be advanced time-insensitive checks to ensure transparency and clarity that ensure click and impression integrity. Basic checks are needed to prevent invalid clicks and getting blocked before entering MMP. This validation process should be done with minimum latency to ensure that it does not hinder the user experience and integrations. For post-MMP Checks, Advertisers need advanced time Insensitive Checks which include pattern mapping. The advanced pattern checks require grouping of data to look for patterns. Also, pre-MMP checks should work in tandem with the pre-attribution checks to ensure overall traffic validation. Advanced ad fraud detection tool provides multilayer defense with pre and post-MMP checks along with the capability to block and blacklist specific sub-publishers and traffic sources. Final Thought The advertisers often ensure that impressions are the cleanest matric for making payout for ad campaigns but when it comes to conversions there are stark differences. For an effective and successful ad campaign and to build a clean ecosystem advertisers need a comprehensive solution that provides multi-level defense across the funnel. Valid8 provides full-funnel protection of your campaigns from Invalid Traffic on the web and app to gain ROAS throughout the customer acquisition journey. It includes Branding Campaigns i.e. Programmatic Campaigns covering Frequency Cap Violations and exclusion lists for Made Ads (MFA) Sites with integrated Brand Safety. Optimize performance campaigns by identifying frauds in CPC, CPV, and CPL web campaigns and search keyword fraud. It also provides Visit-Lead Validation with visit analysis based on Visit Intent with Invalid Traffic Validation to ensure validated leads are integrated into CRM. Connect with our experts to explore the possibilities and prevent drainage of your ad budget to optimize your marketing efforts.

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Ad Fraud: The Digital Advertising Industry’s Biggest Battle Yet to Win

That’s the estimated amount of money advertisers are expected to lose this year because of ad fraud. While ad platforms are getting better at detecting such fraud, fraudsters are also coming up with more innovative, hard-to-detect ways to commit fraud. These days, fraudsters employ a variety of sophisticated techniques to fool advertisers. Even modern ad fraud bots have become sophisticated. These bots have authentic user/device IDs, that can perform complex actions, and mimic human behavior almost perfectly. Entire communities of cyber criminals, backed by handsome development budgets, are engaged in ad fraud. Using Google Ad Traffic Blocking is a good way to protect your ad campaigns, but it is not enough. Let’s understand how: Loopholes In the Google Ad Traffic Blocking Google Ad Traffic Blocking allows you to block ad traffic from specific sources. This means you can block traffic from known sources of fraudulent traffic. While this sounds great in theory, this strategy has a number of problems: – The list of sources of fraudulent traffic is constantly growing. Nearly half of the traffic on the web is bot traffic, and bad bots account for 39% of this bot traffic. As you’re reading this, there are hundreds of fraudulent websites being created. By the time you add new websites to your ad traffic blocking list, new ones will already be in operation. – Many advertisers depend on their Google Analytics data to detect fraudulent traffic sources and use Google ad blocking to prevent their ads from appearing on these websites. This isn’t a sustainable strategy. It is almost like you are paying the ad platform to learn about fraudulent traffic sources. Depending on the size of your ad budget, such a strategy can potentially cost you thousands of dollars every month. – The combination of Google Analytics and Google Ad Traffic Blocking only works for sites using simple bots. It is much more difficult to detect the activity of sophisticated bots manually. – While Google does not release how it tracks fraudulent clicks, many experts believe it uses IP addresses. If that is the case, fraudsters can simply change their IP address and avoid being included in the Google Ads exclusion list. Marketing professionals and ad platforms realized long ago that they must evolve to put an end to ad fraud. To that end, there have been a number of innovative attempts in recent years. Let’s examine some of these and determine if they are truly effective. Methods Used by Marketers and Ad Platforms To Combat Ad Fraud 1. Ads.txt Ads.txt is a public text file that allows publishers to identify themselves as authorized publishers and prevent spoofed inventory. Unfortunately, the use of Ads.txt did little to stop ad fraud. Besides major sellers like Rubicon, most publishers also allow other “resellers”. You can find these resellers in almost every Ads.txt file. These resellers are not required to disclose the names of the advertisers, they are selling their traffic too. This means that they could be reselling the same traffic to you and some other parties. Moreover, fraudsters have found many ways to conduct fraud using Ads.txt files. 404 bot is one of the most famous instances where fraudsters have launched entire bot networks designed to surpass ads.txt protection. 2. Play Protect Play Protect was another initiative by Google, designed to potentially prevent the release of fake and malware apps on the Android Play Store. Play Protect scans applications for malware and other threats before allowing them to become available for download on the Play Store. While this effort did stop some obvious forms of malware and fraud on the platform, it has not been very effective. The proof of the same lies in the fact that there have been many cases of ad fraud on Google’s Play Store and even Apple’s App Store in the recent past. 3. Fake Account Prevention Just like Google ads face issues with fraudulent publishers, social media platforms are plagued by fake accounts. The issue got serious attention when the Elon Musk-Twitter deal almost fell through because Twitter (allegedly) failed to disclose the real number of fake accounts on the platform. Social media platforms claim that they routinely run checks and purge fake accounts on their platforms. However, new fake accounts pop up just as quickly as old ones are removed. While it is true that creating fake accounts is relatively difficult these days, it is still easy enough to be done at a scale. Why Is Ad Fraud Hard to Stop? Ad fraud is hard to stop for multiple reasons. For one, there are significant monetary benefits associated with successfully committing ad fraud. This motivation makes fraudsters stay committed to finding new ways to steal advertisers’ money. Another hard reality is that some ad platforms may let a small percentage of bad traffic through to inflate numbers. After all, the only one losing money because of ad fraud is the advertiser. Finally, as fraud techniques and bots become increasingly sophisticated, detecting, and preventing fraud will only get more difficult. So, what are advertisers supposed to do? Should they accept that they cannot do anything about ad fraud? Quite the contrary. Just like fraudsters have committed teams and communities constantly finding new ways to commit fraud, you need a team on your side that is committed to preventing said fraud. mFilterIt’s ad fraud detection tool enables the detection and prevention of invalid traffic in real time. In other words, with mFilterIt, you can not only identify bot traffic coming to your ads, but you can also prevent its impact, essentially saving your precious ad budget. Our tool employs AI, ML, and data science capabilities to detect and prevent ad fraud. Conclusion Ad fraud is constantly evolving, making it incredibly difficult to detect and prevent. However, combating ad fraud isn’t impossible. Advertisers need to go beyond traditional methods to survive in this ever-evolving digital ecosystem impacted by malicious elements like bots. With an advanced ad fraud solution, advertisers can ensure that sophisticated bots cannot sneak under their noses pretending

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Challenges In Programmatic Advertising: Know How You Can Combat Them

Programmatic has brought a revolutionary change in digital advertising. With its complete automation process, it has made it easier for advertisers to get the best place for their ads. However, every change comes with its own set of challenges. It is a challenging decision for an advertiser to make a move toward the big and promising world of real-time bidding advertising. All the things are shiny, but certainly, some red flags can be avoided to get the best returns on the ad spends. Programmatic advertising has portrayed itself as the best solution to traditional advertising. However, some challenges make it hard for advertisers to trust the ad-tech ecosystem blindly. We’re here to spill the beans on how these challenges are directly impacting your ad campaigns and what you can do to protect them. Read along and ensure that your brand doesn’t have to be the victim of fraudulent practices and other limitations of programmatic ads in the future. Programmatic Advertising – Challenges & Solutions 1. Lack of Transparency Due to programmatic advertising, many publishers have emerged that attract a large audience. Though the ideal goal of an advertiser is to reach a wider audience, these publishers cause a major concern for brand safety. These sites are usually low-quality and spam sites which redirect irrelevant traffic to the campaigns and impact the brand reputation. In addition to this, lack of transparency in the programmatic also impacts the decision of ad budget allocation for an advertiser. As they are unaware of the real impact of the ad campaigns and where their ads are showing, they are unable to decide which campaigns are genuinely performing better. Solution To solve this problem, mFilterIt’s ad fraud solution ensures that your ad campaign doesn’t consist of fraudulent and invalid traffic. We detect the sources of the malicious traffic and blacklist the fraudulent IP addresses to prevent the impact on future ad campaigns. 2. Viewability Issues As defined by the International Advertising Bureau, ad viewability is a standard metric to measure viewable impressions. According to them, an ad is considered viewable when it appears at least 50% on screen for more than one second. This is a quantifiable metric to know the percentage of ads that are viewed by real people. However, in programmatic advertising, many factors impact the viewability of an ad. Some of the factors are audience targeting, platform choices, and context which determines that the ads are shown to the right audience in real time and place. Solution Our Ad fraud software ensures that your digital ads are viewable to the targeted audience. Our solution also detects the ad placements on brand unsafe placements, masked websites, and sets of devices used for ad impressions. 3. Advertising Fraud & Bot Traffic According to a stat, “37% of ad buyers are worried about ad fraud”. And it has become a serious cause of concern in programmatic advertising. In the programmatic ecosystem, the landscape is littered with abusive vendors, non-human traffic sources, and click bots. And it’s an escalating problem because if you are basing your Return on Investment (ROI) on soft KPIs like impressions or views, then it is quite easy to fake fraudsters. In 2021, the traffic coming from bad bots accounted for 27.7% according to Statista. If taken the right measures to detect and prevent ad fraud, advertisers can get access to more accurate data and get a greater return on their ad spends. Solution To ensure that your ad campaigns are not impacted by fraudulent traffic and other ad fraud techniques, partner with an ad fraud detection tool provider like mFilterIt. Our fraud prevention and detection  ensures to detect bot patterns and other fraud categories in your ad traffic and takes preventive actions to provide cleaner traffic. 4. Impact on Brand Safety  Beyond the viewability issues and ad inventory problems, one of the biggest challenges with programmatic advertising is its impact on brand reputation. Beyond the revenue, if a brand’s reputation comes at stake, it can create havoc and ruin its image in front of its consumers. Apart from checking the quality of your traffic, a brand needs to ensure some additional things like: Where are your ads placed? What is the tone of your ad content? Is your content promoting anything illegal, scam, or fake? These checks are necessary to ensure that your ad doesn’t hurt the sentiments of your consumers and place you as a brand involved in illegal acts. Solution Keep a check on the placement of your ads and ensure that they are not showing on websites promoting violence, pornography, terrorism, fake news or hate speech. Conclusion Every revolutionary idea has its share of pros and cons. While Programmatic advertising comes with the above-mentioned challenges, it also comes with a plethora of benefits that can make a difference in the digital advertising space. To enjoy the best of both worlds, advertisers can take small steps to protect their ad campaigns and brand reputation. And while they do their part, an ad fraud prevention and detection solution provider like mFilterIt can help in making programmatic advertising a fraud-free space for your digital ad campaigns. By eliminating ad fraud in the programmatic space, advertisers can leverage the benefits of reaching the right audience and getting better returns on digital ad campaigns. Get in touch to learn more about programmatic advertising.

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