6 Actions Buyers and Publishers Can Take to Fight Digital Ad Fraud

November 5, 2018

A few steps to take to minimize the impact of ad fraud on your business.

Kevin Rehberg, Vice President, Sales


Throughout the fall, I’ve hosted a series of webinars explaining how digital ad fraud happens and its impact on the market. One of the most popular sections of the webinar offered practical advice on how buyers and sellers of digital media can combat ad fraud. Here are a few actions you can take to minimize the impact of ad fraud on your business.


Sellers: Don’t Buy Traffic

Buying traffic exposes you to fraud because traffic sellers often promise that they are sending human audiences your way, but this type of traffic is likely robotic. Millions of people don’t wait until the last day of the month to visit specific websites in specific quantities. Resist the urge to buy or source traffic. Learn more about how purchasing traffic increases the risks of ad fraud in our whitepaper, “3 Truths That Help Confront the Digital Ad Fraud Crisis.”


Buyers: Request Hourly Reporting

Buyers should request hourly reporting from their publishing or ad tech partners to see when ad dollars are effective and when impressions spike. If impressions spike during off hours, such as midnight to 4 a.m. when most people in the market are sleeping, that’s a strong indication that the activity is not human.


Sellers: Protect Your Buyers

Quality publishers can take the proactive step of protecting their buyers by filtering traffic from bots and data centers. This stops ads from being served to nonhuman traffic and therefore increases the ad’s exposure to human audiences, which is sure to increase the advertiser’s ROI.


Buyers: Buy Directly from Local Publishers

Local media have cultivated relationships with their audiences for decades that carries over to digital platforms. Buying directly from local media typically generates more human views than trying to reach local audiences through geo-targeted programmatic buying.


Sellers: Educate Your Clients

Educate your buying clients about the how the quality content you create attracts human audiences. An educated advertiser will understand the value of investing in human audiences. Next time you have a client meeting, simply ask, “Are you aware of digital ad fraud?”


Buyers and Sellers: Don’t Rely on Fraud Detection Companies

Most buyers and publishers place fraud detection tags on their ads and sites to track and expose fraud. It’s important to realize that fraud detection companies have limitations, as different companies use different methodologies that can produce different results. We explore the limitations of fraud detection further in our whitepaper, “3 Truths That Help Confront the Digital Ad Fraud Crisis."

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