Advertising fraud, or ad fraud, continues to be a major problem in the digital advertising industry. According to a 2020 report by the Association of National Advertisers, they estimated ad fraud to cost advertisers $5.8 billion globally each year. In a study they conducted with White Ops, they found that ad fraud rates have decreased slightly in recent years, but still remain significant. For example, the study found that 9% of display ads and 15% of video ads were fraudulent in 2020.

To put this into perspective, let's say a business is spending $50,000 per month on digital advertising. If 9% of their display ads are fraudulent, that means $4,500 of their advertising budget is being wasted on fake impressions and clicks. This loss can be even greater for video ads, with 15% of video ads being fraudulent.

Not something to be underestimate is it? 

Ok so I imagine we can agree bots are potentially burning through your hard earned cash. 
Let's explore what you can do to stop ad fraud and safeguard your advertising budgets.

  1. Use ad verification services: Ad verification services can help you verify the quality of your traffic and ensure that your ads are being displayed in safe and appropriate environments. These services can check the validity of impressions, viewability of ads, and brand safety of the environment in which the ads display.
  1. Implement bot detection software and or fraud protection tools: Utilise bot detection software and fraud protection tools to identify and block bots that generate fraudulent clicks, as well as to prevent and detect ad fraud. These solutions can automatically detect and block bots, analyze your ad campaigns in real-time, and detect any fraudulent activity, which can save you money and improve the quality of your traffic.
  1. Set up IP filtering: IP filtering is used to block traffic from certain IPs that are known to be associated with fraudulent activity. This can be done by adding IP addresses to a blacklist, which will prevent traffic from those IPs from accessing your site through ad campaigns. Easy and effective.
  1. Use two-factor authentication: Use two-factor authentication to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to your ad accounts. This can help prevent unauthorized access to your ad campaigns and ensure that your campaigns are secure.
  1. Monitor traffic sources: Keep track of where your traffic is coming from and look for any unusual patterns or suspicious sources. Examine your web analytics data for any spikes or dips in traffic to accomplish this. You can also use a fraud detection tool to help you detect fraudulent traffic automatically.
  1. Monitor ad campaign performance: Keep a close eye on the performance of your advertising campaign and look out for any odd patterns or trends that might indicate fraud. This could involve keeping an eye on your click-through rates, conversion rates, and other important metrics, as well as examining the origins of your traffic and searching for any irregularities.
  1. Limit ad placements: Consider limiting your ad placements to trusted networks and publishers that have a good reputation for delivering high-quality traffic. 
  1. Set up a blacklist: Establish a blacklist of apps and websites that generate fraudulent clicks and block them from your ad campaigns. As a result, less fraudulent traffic will be able to reach your ad campaigns and waste your advertising dollars.
  1. Educate your team: Educate your team on ad fraud and how to identify and prevent it. Provide training on how to monitor traffic sources and look for other signs of fraud.

Taking action against ad fraud is essential to ensure that your advertising dollars are spent on genuine traffic.
If you do just a few of the things listed above, your traffic will be a lot cleaner.