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Ad Fraud

Adios Ad Fraud: 4 Ways to Knock It Out of the Programmatic Funnel

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    Written by Richard Kahn
    on August 16, 2017

    Programmatic advertising makes digital advertising look like a piece of cake. And who doesn’t love cake? Back in the day, ad purchasing was a pain. Negotiating and dealing with a sales person wasn’t ideal. Programmatic buying takes the hassle out of ad buying.

     

    Programmatic allows purchasing decisions to be made automatically. Ad buys are done digitally and completed within milliseconds of a page being loaded on a website. Although this tool allows our lives to run a bit more smoothly, automated processes can leave a level of uncertainty.

     

    In fact, 94% of digital marketers feel programmatic marketplace quality is a very or somewhat serious issue. Despite programmatic’s success, it brings the risk of ad fraud with it, too.

     

    Ad fraud is like allergies. No matter how hard we try there’s just no way to run away from it. But we can mitigate our risk. Here are four ways to say goodbye to ad fraud in the programmatic funnel.

     

    1. Decide on a Fraud Elimination Standard

    Third-party scoring systems help advertisers identify fraudulent traffic. While it’s a great tool, it can only live up to the filter they’re scoring through.

     

    Since there is no set standard that defines what is categorized as fraudulent activity, the programmatic funnel passes sketchy results right along through the supply chain. This problem needs to be stopped.

     

    Related Post: 4 Tips to Protect Your Agency and Clients From Click Fraud

     

    The digital advertising industry needs to come together to decide on a fraud elimination standard and insert it into the programmatic funnel. By having all impressions judged equally earlier in the supply chain, we can reduce the bids on impression fraud and take down fraudsters in the areas they benefit most.

    Brands and Ad Fraud

    Now, how can you help? It’s easy.

     

    A standard will emerge in time if brands consistently ask suppliers about their ad fraud practices. And we mean consistently. Brands can’t turn a blind eye when the metrics are outperforming the standard.

     

    2. Make the Domain Known

    Fraudsters survive by hiding in the dark. These leeches will come up with anything to hide their identities and pretend they’re someone else. Often they’ll create websites that have a high-volume of bot traffic. But the most common method is spoofing a trusted website.

     

    Related Post: Ad Fraud: You're Not Sneaky If We Can See You

     

    By breaching whitelists, they become a trusted advisor. They continue this system until they’re inevitably caught and placed on a blacklist. Despite putting an end to that source, it doesn’t stop their other domains from breaking into the programmatic transaction.

     

    Making the domain known helps programmatic buyers better understand patterns surrounding programmatic purchasing from certain domains. This information can guide and help all of the industry keep these fraudsters at bay.

     

    3. Require Programmatic to Be Transparent

    Programmatic thrives on a number of things. Split-second decision making and automatic placement of advertising on websites are just a couple that come to mind. But when it comes to transparency, well, that’s one thing it’s lacking.

     

    We can’t truly understand what’s happening in the marketplace if the process itself isn’t transparent.

     

    Brands want transparency. They want to know where their advertising is being displayed and what websites it appears on. It’s like a puzzle, and to be transparent, brands need to know where the puzzle pieces originated, how they fit together, and where the missing pieces are.

     

    Here’s how it works:

    • Advertisers focus on one section of the puzzle at a time, failing to move forward until a section is complete.
    • Publishers get ahead of themselves and provide all the pieces even before the advertisers might need them.
    • Brands look at all of the pieces, how they’re arranged, and what’s different or possibly missing.

    Brands want the transparency that advertisers and publishers are missing out on by focusing only on one part of the puzzle. Brands know the importance of seeing the big picture.

     

    4. Create Equal Standards Between Quality and Convenience

    In this day and age, convenience is everything. When given the choice of convenience or quality, advertisers continue to choose convenience. Yet, they’re the first to point out when quality isn’t up to par.

    Quality and Convenience Graphic

    Source: Dreamstime

     

    We need a common ground between the two. It’s time for publishers and advertisers to meet in the middle.

     

    Advertisers, once you look at your results, reinvest in true, premium traffic. This encourages publishers to offer more of this quality inventory.  And publishers, you need to take responsibility for providing premium, quality traffic inventory. Fraudless traffic drives more demand and higher CPMs.

     

    Holding quality to the same high standard as convenience will help to eliminate ad fraud issues in programmatic for good.

     

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