Selecting the Right Ad Fraud Detection Solution

How to tackle ad fraud by choosing the right partner with the right platform.

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Whether your organization already has an ad fraud detection solution in place but is looking for something new or you are just beginning your search into the space, you will quickly find that there are many options available in the marketplace. Whatever your path may be, the important thing to remember is that not all ad fraud detection solutions are created equally, and not all solutions are able to deliver the level of detail, accuracy, and speed that you need to meet your ad campaign goals.

Use this guide to select the right ad fraud detection solution for your organization so you can focus more time and resources on developing and operating your business.

Chapter 1

Identify the Need for Ad Fraud Detection

It doesn’t make any difference whether fraudulent traffic comes into your web assets in the form of views, clicks, or form submissions—fraud is fraud. Your marketing dollars are being siphoned away, and your campaign performance drags.

No matter your industry, your target audience, or the type or reach of your ad campaign, your organization needs a solution that is able to definitively validate users in real time. Without this ability, organizations can easily find themselves suffering under the burden of low ad campaign performance and lackluster marketing results.

Some of the common signs that your ad campaign may be dragging due to fraudulent traffic include:

  • A high number of impressions or clicks with low conversion rates or high bounce rates
  • Poor inbound leads coming from form submissions or outreach campaigns
  • Customer charge-backs or complaints
  • Anomalies in ad campaign data or visitor traffic
  • Issues with maintaining compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

Whether your organization is already experiencing the negative effects of ad fraud or you just want to focus on running your business rather than running down malicious traffic, investing in a best-of-breed ad fraud detection solution may be just what your organization needs.

"We went from more than 15 percent fraud to less than 3 percent in a matter of days. That was 20 months ago, and we haven’t looked back."

- Penny Lee, BriteBox LLC

Chapter 2

Get a Return on Your Investment

Ever feel like your advertising campaigns are fighting for your business with one hand tied behind their back? That’s probably because most are; about 25 percent of traffic coming into your site is fraudulent, dragging down your conversion rate and wasting your ad budget.

It’s easy to think, “Oh, that 25 percent statistic doesn’t include my organization,” or, “My current marketing platform is robust enough to catch ad fraud.” But how sure are you? Are you really getting a solid return on your investment in your current ad fraud detection solution and getting the biggest bang for each marketing buck you spend.

One of the best ways to determine how much ad fraud could be costing you is to take a look at an ad fraud calculator.

Access Anura's Ad Fraud Calculator

Don’t like what you’re seeing? Don’t worry. There are tools out there that can help, like Anura, which is tuned by engineers with decades of experience, delivering virtually no false positives and capable of processing billions of requests each day.

More Than the Sticker Price

Of course, there is more to picking the right ad fraud detection solution than just how it affects your balance sheet. Here are some other criteria to keep in mind when evaluating your options to find the best of the breed when it comes to tackling ad fraud:

  • What levels of customer support are available?
  • How accurate is the platform when it comes to identifying bots, bogus clicks, and other fraudulent activity? 
  • What level of confidence is given for each determination of valid and fraudulent traffic?
  • How often are databases and analytical tools updated to reflect recent trends in global traffic?
  • How quickly can the platform make a decision on the validity of incoming traffic?
  • What is the company’s track record when it comes to actually rooting out ad fraud?
  • What tools, documentation, integration guides, and other quick-start resources are available to help you achieve maximum performance?

At the end of the day, it is important to remember that your organization is not selecting just an ad fraud detection solution, but also a partner that can add value to your business by helping to refine your ad campaigns.

"Aided by Anura Solutions, QuinStreet was able to apply existing brand spend more productively; conversions increased 20-25 percent with no change in budget allocation. This led to further increases in QuinStreet’s branded wallet share."

- Marty Collins, QuinStreet

Chapter 3

Accuracy and Custom Reporting

Do you really know what all those ad fraud metrics mean? Probability scores? Viewability? What are they really telling you? You need an ad fraud detection solution that definitively tells you whether your traffic is fraudulent.

Many ad fraud detection solution providers use “vanity metrics,” which may look constructive and advanced, but if you go one layer deeper, these metrics aren’t as definitive as they seem. Metrics such as viewability, which measures views that last for at least one second, or categories such as “non-human traffic” can be helpful, but they are driven by either probability scoring models or basic filters. 

In other words, is an ad fraud detection solution identifying only the probability of fraud, or is the solution able to definitively determine whether a user is legitimate? 

Going one step further, what data is an ad fraud detection solution providing to help you make actionable, real-time decisions about your ad campaign? Does it provide an API that allows you to process and view data when and how you need to? This can be especially important for e-commerce vendors that need to know the validity of a visitor when deciding whether to process a transaction, which may come with vendor transaction fees.

Finally, you need to understand the strength of the ad fraud detection solution’s dashboard and reporting capabilities. Does it provide an interactive dashboard and custom reports? Is the information easy to read, reliable, and definitive? How accurate is the data used to determine the validity of your web assets’ traffic? Can you search, filter, and view overall trends using multiple metrics or scrutinize individual visitors?

With Anura, thanks to access to billions of daily transactions, an intuitive dashboard, and machine learning that allows us to improve our accuracy based on performance feedback that is regularly collected from our clients, your organization can transform the impact, accuracy, and performance of its ad campaigns.

"Anura is worth every penny. Any time I see fraud ratios go up, it prepares me for what comes next in terms of our affiliate network. I can always go to Anura, drill down, and find the issue at hand. We can rely on the results we're getting, as there are no false positives. It's all accurate information."

- Judith-Ann Sarjeant, Security, Fraud, and Compliance Specialist

Chapter 4

Compliance and Regulatory Support

It can be easy to point fingers when it comes to who should be responsible for combating digital ad fraud, but when it comes to your web assets, the buck ultimately stops with you.

It is true that publishers, platforms, brands, agencies, and compliance and regulatory bodies all have a role to play in monitoring and stopping ad fraud, but organizations such as yours will always be the leaders when it comes to driving change. This is why it is imperative that the ad fraud detection solution that you select is not only contributing to the demise of fraudulent traffic but is also supporting and complying with leading regulatory bodies and advertising associations.

Here are some key endorsements or certification programs that should be on your must-have list when you’re vetting potential partners:

  • Support for TCPA compliance: Does the ad fraud detection solution effectively vet leads down to the individual user level before your organization picks up the phone to call a potential customer?
  • Participation in the Trustworthy Accountability Group’s (TAG) Certified Against Fraud Program: Is the partner certified against fraud by a third party such as TAG? 
  • Understanding of the Media Rating Council’s Ad Verification Guidelines: Are the acceptable methods and practices for conducting digital ad verification services in place?

Ultimately, your organization needs to be constantly screening traffic through an ad fraud detection solution to have the best chance of ensuring that only real, legitimate people are filling out your forms or clicking through to your web assets. This will not only allow your organization to effectively refine your ad campaigns, but it will also minimize your chances of falling out of compliance.

"We accurately find 235% more fraud than our competition to boost your bottom line."

Chapter 5

Ad Fraud Solution Integration

Is your ad fraud detection solution able to seamlessly integrate with your existing web assets and online platforms? Without built-in APIs and a network of partners, your organization may be missing out on a more holistic picture of its visitors. 

Your web platform is unique and flexible, and your ad fraud detection solution needs to be able to not only work in this type of environment, but also seamlessly integrate within it. When selecting an ad fraud detection solution, research the types of integration it supports and how the different models may affect the amount, speed, and type of data coming back for analysis. 

For example, some ad fraud detection solutions monitor server-to-server communication between the user and your web assets, whereas others use code embedded into your assets. How about both? How does the amount of data differ across the different types of solutions? 

In the case of Anura, our solution has been tuned by engineers with decades of experience, delivering two implementation options that allow for flexible integration regardless of your website structure: Anura Script and Anura Direct. Anura captures hundreds of data points about your incoming traffic, providing detailed analytics to improve how your organization makes marketing decisions.

Anura Script

Anura Script uses embedded JavaScript on the client side of your web assets, and it is our most comprehensive method for collecting user data. Anura Script uses hundreds of data points for each user and excels at identifying even the most sophisticated fraud in real time. 

The solution also:

  • Utilizes comprehensive analysis techniques to go beyond just general invalid traffic (GIVT) and sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT)
  • Is tuned to be used for conversions and post-click analysis
  • Details exactly why a segment of traffic was flagged, giving you better insight for your marketing decisions

Anura Direct

Anura Direct is best for server-to-server communication or when there is limited user information. Anura Direct delivers real-time analysis—measured in milliseconds—in time-sensitive situations, typically used for click analysis and programmatic campaigns. With Anura Direct, server-to-server calls are made to Anura’s back end for a pre-bid analysis of traffic, which helps flag potential fraud even in volatile environments.

With Anura Direct in place, your organization:

  • Gets the fast answer it needs to determine whether traffic is good or bad
  • Benefits from constantly updated performance data collected from our clients to strengthen our accuracy
  • Has built-in analytics at its fingertips to drill deep into every facet of your campaigns and traffic sources

Partner Integration

It can be initially overlooked, but understanding how an ad fraud detection solution is able to integrate with your organization’s existing and future digital advertising ecosystem is equally important. Because no one solution within the digital advertising space can holistically capture and manage your ad campaigns and marketing program, it is increasingly important for the various tools to easily integrate and share data.

Since its launch, Anura has been working with a robust network of partners in the marketing and digital advertising space, which can help your organization optimize its campaign performance with seamless integration. Some of Anura’s partners include:

  • CAKE: powerful performance marketing software that can bring clarity to your marketing campaigns
  • Everflow: an all-in-one platform for managing your affiliates, influencers, and strategic partnerships
  • HitPath: a leader in the performance marketing and data tracking software industry
  • LeadsPedia: brings your business and all its data together in one intuitive platform, making it easy to see the information you care about in one place and use it to make faster, better‑informed decisions.
  • Partnerize: an end-to-end software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution for forming, managing, analyzing, and predicting the results of partner marketing programs
  • Tealium: the industry’s most trusted approach to collecting and delivering customer data
  • TUNE: the industry’s most flexible SaaS platform for managing marketing partnerships across mobile and web assets
  • Twyne: an advanced lead management, link tracking, and lead distribution platform for marketers

" Anura has helped us detect and take action on traffic marked suspicious. This has reduced the amount of time/analysis of traffic marked as fraudulent from clients, decreased returns on both the client and partner side, and overall has improved client confidence."

- Marty Collins, QuinStreet

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