Protection in marketing - how to prevent ad fraud

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According to the German Digital Industry Association, the net volume spent on digital marketing in 2018 was 2.065 billion euros. A gigantic sum and the sign of an advertising world in upheaval. Due to the Anonymity between advertisers and ad providers, however, it is also comparatively easy for fraudsters to secure funds. Whether via Bot networks or via fake websites, there are always cases of fraud. Here you can learn how to identify fraud cases, which known methods of fraudsters there are and how to prevent ad fraud. 

 

 

Ad Fraud - Definition, Analysis and Tactics for Prevention

There are no exact figures on the volume of ad-frauds, which is due to different points. On the one hand, it is quite difficult to determine the Accurately quantify fraudbecause not all cases are even noticed or recognized and reported. In addition, there are of course also many different forms of advertising fraud and virtually every day new bot networks are created or the Domain Spoofing becomes "richer" by another fraudster. 

In principle, however, the scammers' schemes all work in a similar way: tricksters, touts and hucksters set up websitesAt first glance, they look like those of legitimate advertisers, or they pretend to be a real advertising site. Thereby the Money not always embezzled directly can be. Using networks of bots, fraudsters can, for example, make you believe that your advertising has a reach that it does not. Thereby the costs rise for performance-oriented bids but your ads will only be played in front of bots or click farms.

During the Non Human Traffic based on algorithms, work Click farms with human employees, but with obfuscated Device IDs. Thus, few users click through many thousands of times from the same device and optimize the performance of your ads in favor of the scammer. 

Es gibt verschiedene Ad-Fraud Vorgehensweisen, die Betrüger nutzen.
There are several fraud tactics that scammers use
(Image: businessofapps.com).

Damage to your brand or business is also entirely possible, so a Short-term financial loss is possibly only the beginning of a long chain of mischief. Your campaign, which has been planned and polished for months, may end up on a brand-damaging website. Another common scam is that your ad is not published at all. With the so-called Ad Stacking content is stacked "on top of each other" and thus remains invisible to the visitor of a page. Not ideal for an advertisement. 

Whether executed manually or automated, ad fraud aims to drive up your ad spend via de facto non-existent views. 

Prevent ad fraud - with caution, prudence and whitelisting

So how can ad fraud be prevented? As with all fraud, this is a multi-faceted question, as fraudsters upgrade with each new method of fighting back. Still, you and your business are not defenseless, it starts with the ad booking supply chain. 

Ideally, this should consist exclusively of two steps: Publisher and Ad-Network as well as Ad-Network and Ad-Exchange. 

Caution is also required when booking, because this is where domain spoofing strikes. Fraudsters book fake domains that look real at first glance. In these cases, it is important for companies to be careful with White Lists to work and to work only with trustworthy partners

As a publisher yourself, you must first and foremost Protect against malware, this interposes itself between your advertising inventory and the ad space and redirects the revenue. 
In all these cases, once the money has disappeared, it is almost certainly lost. Identifying the fraudsters and being able to prosecute them is the absolute exception. In fact, with ad fraud, you can consider yourself downright lucky if you can detect the fraud at all. 

Google itself, for example, uses a Onlinefilter, which performs automated checks. If suspicious activities with date, time or especially IP addresses are noticed, they will be checked manually. However, most fraudsters are too sophisticated for such methods, you will have more success as a Google Ads customer if you track the success of your campaigns yourself.

If, for example, the Conversion rates despite increasing traffic at a suspicious rate, you can of course report the issue to Google Ads.

To be able to prevent ad fraud, you must use Premium Publishers work in corresponding premium environments. This requires you to have a higher investment, but of course also holds the potential for a increased advertising impactFinally, your ads will appear on larger and safer sites. 
The environment of an advertisement in particular can already provide information about whether it is a potential scam. Questionable content that looks like Clickbait do not even have to be fraudulent in order to cause lasting damage to your brand. Basically, you should exercise caution and scrutinize both publishers and traffic in an advertising analysis. 

Another method to prevent ad fraud lies in ads.txt script and the further development ads.cert. These scripts require verification of the Bid Requests via lists of official sales platforms and site owners. In the form of the Coalition for Better Ads there are also direct contacts who can also stand up to fraud with improved standards. 

The ads.txt file, for example, not only provides authorized sources, but also booking paths for publishers. This can, for example, prevent captured domains with fraudulent advertising space from infiltrating the supply chain via authorized resellers. 

Brandsafety and trust in digital advertising

As a matter of principle, of course, you must have confidence in the digital advertising and into online marketing. Ad fraud is a real problem, and with click farms and bot networks, the fraudsters feel they have the higher leverage and can also grab larger sums automatically. And just as networking and globalization have brought the market for online advertising closer together, fraud rings operate just as globally and often no less professionally. International fraud gangs do not work in secret on individual computers, but can rent computer centers and server rooms. 

In preventing ad fraud, too, it is therefore essential that you do your homework in the Campaign analysis and keep an eye on visitor and conversion figures.

 

 

Finally, this is the ray of hope in the arms race against digital scammers: all the resources you and your company have to spend to deal with the fraud serve at the same time to improve your online marketing. By partnering with trusted publishers, premium websites as the environment for your ads, and a accurate analysis of your advertising data you can prevent ad fraud and at the same time ensure the long-term success of your ad campaigns.

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