What Is Ad Fraud?

Ad fraud is the practice of generating false interactions -- viewing, clicking, or converting, for example -- with a web asset for the sole purpose of taking money directly or indirectly. These costly interactions are not limited to malicious bots or malware; ad fraud can be conducted by humans, too. To unsuspecting users, ad fraud often appears to be legitimate, but a closer look reveals otherwise.

Warning Signs of Ad Fraud

1. High Clicks or Impressions but Low Conversions

Abnormally high numbers of clicks with few registered conversions is a sign of ad fraud. Fraudsters aren’t trying to become leads; their goal is to eat away at ad budgets. Some fraudsters engage in conversion fraud, which is harder to recognize. In this scenario, fraudsters “convert” by filling out a form after clicking on an ad. But once they complete the action, the bot or human exits the site.

Learn More: How Does Ad Fraud Affect Clicks?

2. High Bounce Rates

Website bounce rates are the percentage of visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. High bounce rates are not desirable, but not all instances are ad fraud-related.

To recognize the difference, look for a high click-through rate paired with a high bounce rate. Bots or human fraudsters will click-through an ad, arrive at the landing page, then immediately leave. And you’re left paying for click fraud.

3. Strange Traffic Sources

Traffic source data can reveal small, critical details that indicate an underlying fraudulent traffic source problem. Look for traffic coming from outdated browsers or unpopular devices. Another red flag is multiple clicks coming from the same IP address, or surges of traffic coming from random countries outside of your target parameters.

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Impact of Ad Fraud

When digital campaigns fall victim to ad fraud the impact is felt company-wide. Marketers run campaigns that produce poor quality leads and sales people reach out to prospects that will never respond or worse yet, claim they never filled out the form.

Lead generation agencies can even be forced to issue refunds for bad leads. Billions of dollars are wasted every day on campaigns that don’t produce real results.

Learn More: Four Ways Ad Fraud Is Destroying Digital Campaigns

Eliminate Ad Fraud

As businesses spend more and more on advertising and traffic acquisition, fraudsters are finding more creative ways to siphon off budget. Companies can use ad fraud solutions that incorporate AI and machine learning to identify fraudulent sources and data trends that would otherwise be missed by marketers.

Anura uses ad fraud detection software to collect hundreds of data points per visitor and clearly identify fraudulent sources of traffic. Marketers can use that information to focus their resources on traffic sources that are producing real leads and real results.

Book a demo and speak to an expert about protecting your business from ad fraud.