What is Ad Fraud and How It Affect Your Business

What is Ad Fraud?

Search advertising is one of the most reliable platforms used globally to promote sales of products and services. Nevertheless, in a digital space that has frequent frauds being committed, as a business owner, you should check closely to ensure your ads are not manipulated by fraudsters. Any intentional act that tends to interfere with the proper delivery of ads to the right people, at the right time in the intended place can be said to be ad fraud. As fraud has evolved over the years despite the many laws that have been put in place to protect business owners, fraudsters have been able to use click fraud and advertising fraud to inconvenience advertisers.


In the US, there are statutory and common laws that have been effective to investigate and report all fraudsters. Most of the click fraud lawsuits in the US have been prosecuted. In the event you suspect you are a victim, it is best if you organize for fraud investigation from an experienced and reliable Investigator.


According to ComScore, a digital analytics provider, about thirty-six percent of online traffic is not real. Fraudsters have fought advertisers by generating fake traffic to their websites which affect businesses who end up paying a lot of money for advertising. There are several methods through which fraudsters use to compromise on advertising. Below are the highlights of the common ways fraudsters use and how they may affect your business.


1. Bots/ Non-human traffic

This is a case where the fraudsters use computer programs known as bots to imitate human interactions. The bots give the impression that an ad is getting views when it’s the computer program responsible for the scanning of the ad. If a publisher is keen enough, they can quickly identify such traffic since the program cannot imitate human behavior entirely.


When bots are influencing traffic to your website, you may experience a reduction in the speed when new users try to load your website. A common rule in digital marketing is that the slower the speed of a website, the lower the conversion. A common case for the e-commerce sites, the bots may influence the choices of a customer by redirecting them to hidden ads.


2. Click farms

Being one of the hardest frauds to fight, click farms involved having direct human interaction of humans with your site. The low-paid workers are paid to click as many ads as possible. With payment systems like Pay per Click, the fraudsters are able to carry out the fraud almost unnoticed.


If you want to check for the click fraud in your campaign, review your analytics of the ad and you will be able to derive evidence of such traffic. As a business owner, if you do not notice this you may end up spending a lot of money on Pay Per Click advertising. Alternatively, look for safer agreements of advertising such as paying upon conversion of a visitor to customer.


3. Ad Injection

Ad injection fraud is where a publisher’s ad is replaced with a fake ad or overlaid with hostile browser add ons. This is more like a virus and when it gets access, it can replace the publisher’s ads and even the content of the website. The best way to protect yourself from ad injection fraud is to avoid the installation of software from untrusted sources.


Ad injection easily diverts genuine traffic through the redirections and may lead to serious technical challenges to restore your website or get your real ads published again. This may also destroy the reputation of your website and push away potential customers from checking your sites.


4. Cookie and Domain Spoofing

Cookie spoofing happens when fraudsters use cookies to manipulate ownership of ads and when conversions are done the publisher loses money since the fraudsters are the ones who get the money. Domain spoofing is a case where fraudsters impersonate themselves and pretend to be the owners of an ad and publish the ads on their substandard sites.


As a business owner, you may think your ad is running on a premium website but in a real case, it is set up on a low profile website. This may expose your customers to malware and push them away from revisiting and reduce your online reviews and recommendations.


Digital marketing is on the boom, and so is the fraud associated with this growth. To enable your business to grow amidst such uncertainty ensure you get a qualified manager of your website who will help you drive genuine traffic to your site, increase your conversion rate and protect your customers while they visit your website.