Published April 23, 2018

In advertising, publishers get paid for an impression or click on an ad regardless of whether the action is performed by a real human. Where this becomes problematic is that large amounts of non-human traffic on a website can be a strong indicator that advertising fraud is occurring. While some non-human traffic is there for legitimate purposes, such as web crawlers, there are also malicious bots that commit ad fraud by artificially increasing the number of fake visitors to a site.

This is important because many publishers lack the resources or the knowledge to track who is viewing their ads, and as a result, many of them have no way of determining if bots make up a significant chunk of their ad impressions.

In fact, one article estimates that:

“25% of publishers that run ads on their site have no way of even detecting non-human traffic.” 1

Though fraudulent publishers with their cash out sites are known to be a problem for advertisers, even legitimate publishers can unintentionally fall prey to bot traffic. If the traffic they sell is inadvertently made up of a significant number of bot impressions, advertisers may complain, and this can do a huge amount of damage to their reputation.

In the worst-case scenario, an inability to screen for bot traffic could cause a major ad buyer or ad exchange to pull that publisher from their inventory, leading to a permanent loss of revenue for that publisher. The problem from the ad-buyer’s perspective is that discovering a publisher that is delivering fraudulent impressions often takes time, which means that their ad budgets are usually entirely depleted on targeting bot traffic before the fraud is discovered.

However, as not all publishers are able to provide greater transparency on who their ads are really being targeted to and their ability to reach real end users, it is important for advertisers to have the tools to see how successful their ad campaigns are.

With NS8 Protect and NS8 TrueStats , a company can see the EQ8 score for each ad campaign right on their dashboard. Since the EQ8 score considers over 160 attributes to identify bot traffic, companies can assess their ad campaigns and remove those that deliver poor quality impressions without relying on publishers to provide the needed data.

References

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