Published March 9, 2018

The primary losses companies face for digital advertising fraud continue to be tied to the purchasing of poor quality ad impressions.

In many cases, publishers paying for high-quality real users are having to compete with those that pay much less for bot traffic, and most ad buyers lack any visibility to tell the difference between the two1. The end result is that huge numbers of pay-per-click and display adverts are shown to those low-quality users, which means that large chunks of an advertising budget go to waste. For instance, in 2017, one report noted that:

“The overall economic losses due to digital advertising fraud for 2017 are estimated to be $6.5 billion globally.” 1

-  White Ops / ANA Study "Bot Baseline 2016-2017" study

This means that every year, bots are proving to be a huge drain on both a company’s advertising budget and their bottom line.

One of the biggest reasons this is such a problem is that, compared to most other kinds of fraud, advertising fraud is comparatively hard to detect. In fact, bots are more than capable of browsing certain pages or even adding items to a shopping cart, just like real human beings.

This makes the publishers want to direct real adverts at them because they believe that these bots represent actual customers with potential buying power. Depending upon the browsing patterns and the actions that they perform, these bots might easily be mistaken for the best customers and get targeted for high-value ads accordingly.

Once they’ve been identified as “customers”, all the bots have to do is head back to the fraudster’s website and let them cash in on all the ads that are now being displayed there. All of this is possible because ad buyers have no visibility of their ads, which means that publishers could (knowingly or unknowingly) be displaying them to bots until the entire advertising budget is drained.

In today’s eCommerce environment, businesses must utilize tools and software that can prevent low-quality traffic from eating up their advertising budgets. Products such as NS8 Protect and NS8 TrueStats can help businesses reduce advertising fraud by scoring and removing low-quality advertising campaigns, which allows online businesses to focus their advertising budget only on the real human users.

References

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