Ad fraud poses a tremendous threat to marketers who use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising today. Click fraud occurs when a person, a bot, or malware clicks on ads with the intention of both draining the budget of the marketer and driving revenue for the publisher. Internet bots are sophisticated scripts that are meant to mimic the actions of a real user while making it difficult to detect the validity of the click.
There is little recourse for marketers when they fall victim to ad fraud. There are few if any laws to protect them and publishing platforms directly profit from it. While click fraud is a very real and serious threat to pay-per-click campaigns, there are solutions that can accurately detect click fraud as it happens.
Where Does Click Fraud Come From?
Pay-per-click sounds like an effective form of advertising, only charging the advertiser for clicks. But the practice incentivizes publishers and advertising networks to ramp up the number of clicks and, subsequently, the number of dollars generated. That’s more than enough motivation for them to take nefarious measures to increase revenue.
Related Reading: What’s Really Happening Down on the Click Farm
A human fraud farm (what used to be called a click farm) is a group of low-paid workers that browse the web, performing payable actions like clicks, form fills, and account signups. By using real people, fraudsters can effectively fool most detection systems into charging the advertiser. The alternative is using a bot, an automated script, to take these actions and attempt to mimic the behavior of a real user. Several solutions have been put in place to help deter bots, such as CAPTCHA, but have their vulnerabilities.
Related Reading: 4 Tips to Protect Your Agency and Clients From Click Fraud
Detecting Click Fraud
Fraudsters continue to ramp up their efforts, leveraging sophisticated technology to trick advertisers into paying for their clicks. Both bots and click farms exhibit behavior patterns that attempt to look like real people. A legitimate user will click, interact with the page content, and – a percentage of the time – convert into a lead. However, it can be difficult to distinguish the clicks that don’t lead to a conversion as real or fake. Click farms can also convert, but those conversions will later prove to be bogus. Getting this information back to the media buyers takes time and often not easily attributed to marketing efforts.
Fraudulent efforts are gaining traction and getting smarter. To stay ahead of them, marketers need to step up their response. Fighting fraud requires a robust ability to interpret user metrics as legitimate. Using a deep understanding of a real user's behavior, as well as artificial intelligence, advanced software can make that determination in real-time with complete accuracy.
Related Reading: How Does Ad Fraud Affect Clicks?
Eliminate Click Fraud with an Ad Fraud Detection Partner
Anura is an ad fraud detection solution that allows marketers to increase campaign quality with advanced analytics and eliminates malicious bots, malware and human fraud that skew data, infiltrate devices, and steal personal information. The software is flexible for programmatic, mobile, click, lead, and call campaigns. To learn more about eliminating click fraud and maximizing campaign data and performance, fill out the form to speak with a member of our team today.