Ad fraud is almost impossible to operate in the advertising or marketing industry without being affected by it in some capacity or another. Despite this, the vast majority of advertisers will believe that ad fraud has no impact on them.
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Several harmful myths about ad fraud exist, and they are costing advertisers billions of dollars per year. Here are some examples: When ignored or just left to fester, these problems can balloon into something far more serious than they already are, causing significant damage to your campaigns on a number of fronts.
- 1 The most popular myths concerning ad fraud are as follows
- 2 A greater level of knowledge and awareness is required
The most popular myths concerning ad fraud are as follows
If you have ever placed an advertisement on the internet, there is a good probability that you have been a victim of advertising fraud. The term “ad fraud” refers to any attempt to defraud digital advertising networks and campaigns in order to obtain financial gain. It is primarily done through the use of bots—software applications that are programmed to perform specific activities—though there are a variety of different methods that scammers employ to defraud marketers and waste their advertising expenditures.
According to a study published by Statista, the costs associated with ad fraud worldwide will increase exponentially over the four-year period between 2018 and 2022, rising from $19 billion to $44 billion – highlighting the devastating and worsening impact that ad fraud is having on companies’ marketing efforts.
There are numerous misconceptions that marketers have regarding ad fraud and the impact that it has on their business, despite the widespread nature of the problem. It is critical to dispel some of these common falsehoods in order to help businesses realize why they should be concerned.
Bots are not a concern of mine.
Despite the fact that digital marketers are well aware of ad fraud and the existence of bots, it appears that many of them do not believe that these issues are a concern for their particular business. Due to the fact that practically every advertiser and campaign is affected by ad fraud, this is a false assertion that should be avoided at all costs.
Bot networks can be programmed to target campaigns of all sizes and across all media platforms, and they are largely indiscriminate in the manner in which they conduct attacks. Fraudsters are constantly developing new tactics and strategies in order to maximize revenue while minimizing the likelihood of being discovered by bot networks.
Bot networks are now capable of piggybacking on existing malware-infected computers and impersonating human behavior, most commonly through the use of click fraud – one of the most common forms of ad fraud, which involves advertisements being clicked repeatedly by bots to give the impression that they are receiving genuine, human traffic and thereby draining the advertiser’s marketing budget – which is one of the most serious threats to online security.
It is estimated that about a quarter of all video ad impressions are false. In a recent survey conducted by the Association of National Advertisers [ANA] and WhiteOps, the scope of the ad fraud problem for average businesses was revealed for the first time. According to the study, roughly 25% of all video ad impressions, 10% of all digital display ad impressions, and more than half of all traffic acquired by publishers to bring additional unique users to their site are fake.
A statistical analysis such as this one shows that ad fraud has a significant and negative influence on your digital marketing operations, and that you cannot afford to ignore it.
Because we exclusively work with high-quality publishers, our campaigns are not at risk.
When marketers only utilize premium publishers, it is all too easy for them to tell themselves that they will not be affected by ad fraud. However, if they do, they are merely deluding themselves and their customers. This is due to the fact that purchasing directly from a seller or through a private marketplace [PMP] does not automatically make you immune to ad fraud. In fact, according to recent WhiteOps research, some direct buys receive as much as 98 percent of their traffic from nonhuman sources.
Non-human traffic can account for up to 98 percent of direct purchases. It is possible that the publisher was legitimate; nevertheless, practically all of the traffic obtained was not. In this example, we can see how widely known publishers often purchase bot traffic from third-party providers, albeit inadvertently. This illustrates how having a high reputation does not guarantee that bots will not be visiting your website or campaigns.
Google will identify and block bogus clicks.
In light of the enormous scope of the problem presented by ad fraud, it is reasonable to expect that the big PPC networks, such as Google, will take significant steps to combat it. This is not the case. However, this is not the case, which is a shame. However, despite the fact that Google has a staff dedicated to tracking illegitimate clicks, the company does not actively prevent them from occurring.
In the best case scenario, many businesses will be reimbursed for the damages they have suffered as a result of the fraud, albeit demonstrating that you have been a victim of fraud is far more difficult than it appears at first glance. With no other alternative, marketers are forced to put their faith in Google, which is a difficult task given the fact that there is no way to know whether the company is charging for false clicks or not.
It is also impossible for businesses to determine whether a person is genuine or a robot when they click on an advertisement — they must simply take Google’s word for it and hope for the best, as has been done in the past.
Paid search generates more than 90 percent of Google’s revenue, which is impressive. Given that Google generates more than 90 percent of its revenue from paid search, it stands to reason that the company would want companies to believe that they are obtaining genuine clicks on their advertisements.
As a result, increasing pressure is being applied to Google and the other industry leaders to take meaningful action against ad fraud, allowing businesses who rely on their networks to get the most out of their campaigns while not having them tarnished by bogus click-throughs.
Bots are unable to impersonate human beings.
Many people naturally think that when they hear the term “bot,” they are referring to programs that operate fully without the involvement of a human. Given the fact that two-thirds of all bots on the internet today are actually running on devices owned by human users, this is not true. For the simple reason that they have authentic cookies and authentic device IDs, they are truly visible in authentic attribution models.
In two-thirds of the cases, bots are run on devices that are owned by genuine people. When you consider the fact that retargeting only shows ads to customers who have attempted to make a purchase, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was an entirely bot-free technique in the first place. There are far too many advertisers that repose their faith in the assumption that when they write a cookie to a computer and afterwards see it, no one could possibly have tampered with it during the intermediate period.
Bots may access genuine cookies, which allows them to run in the background on a residential computer and be content to view advertisements targeted at the owner for as long as they like. The unfortunate reality is that as bot technology and the methods used to deploy it become increasingly sophisticated and unscrupulous, the more difficult it becomes to effectively distinguish between a genuine, human user and a bot.
A greater level of knowledge and awareness is required
New tools to detect and defend businesses from click fraud are constantly being developed and improved, but the tide in the struggle against fraudsters can only be changed if marketers become more conscious of the deteriorating scenario in which they find themselves.
Individuals and organizations working in the digital marketing arena have a responsibility to educate advertisers about the dangers of being unaware of the facts surrounding ad fraud and to encourage them to work toward resolving the problem rather than unwittingly contributing to its perpetuation.