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Which Ad Fraud Detection Tools Should You Choose?

Ad fraud continues to be a massive problem for the digital advertising industry. Clicks and impressions matter, but not if they’re from a bunch of bots rather than real humans.

Recent reports on the rise of ad fraud suggest that the problem is bigger than ever. This reality propelled the development of a more sophisticated set of ad fraud detection tools; which poses the question: Which kind of ad fraud tool should you choose?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to this. Nonetheless, it is worthwhile to compare how each tool differs from others in enhancing your ad operation.

In this article, we’ll discuss a few basic elements of a good ad detection tool, the frauds they target, and how it applies to your company’s needs. Next, we’ll look at additional features to look out for in selecting one. 

 

Elements of an Effective Digital Ad Fraud Tool 

The detection elements of anti-ad fraud tools can differ. When looking for the best-of-breed tool for your company, we recommend carefully comparing the factors of one to another.
 

Geomasking 

Geomasking is a location-based targeting fraud that allows fraudsters to mask low-quality traffic as high-quality. Oftentimes, fraudsters achieve this by breaking the geoblocking restrictions placed by the host brands. 

Companies lose a lot of money spamming non-targeted users, or worse, bots that appear like real people from the needed location, often without the knowledge of these businesses. 

If a brand happens to be targeting a particular location with its ads, any traffic outside the targeted location would trigger a fraud flag. A good anti-ad fraud tool should be able to detect and alert you of such cases.


Domain spoofing 

Domain spoofing is a type of ad fraud that creates fake web pages with domain names that closely resemble a real business’s brand. Domain spoofing allows fraudsters to disguise the origin of their traffic. Your anti-ad fraud tool should be able to detect and flag these bogus web pages and URLs.


Ad stacking

This fraud occurs when fraudsters embed an ordinary ad with several other ads underneath. The ad server may record the impressions, but since users cannot see your ad if it appears below the front ad, you’re unlikely to witness anybody clicking on it. 

As it is virtually undetectable, it leaves you blind about what’s happening. An effective fraud detection tool will see through the stacking and weed your ad out of this misery. 


Pixel stuffing

Pixel stuffing works similar to ad stacking, only that the ad — stacked or not — is then shrunk to fit into a 1x1 pixel, making it invisible to the naked eye. As with ad stacking, the outcome will be more impressions that lead nowhere.

If you face this problem, ensure the ad fraud prevention tool you implement can detect and help you combat both pixel stuffing and ad stacking. 


IP address

It is a sign that something fishy is going on if a lot of traffic is coming from the same IP address, especially when it is not from a reputable internet provider. A constant flow of these IP addresses could indicate that devices with those addresses have been infected with malware.

A good ad fraud detection tool will be able to distinguish between sudden spikes of this nature and others that may be caused by trends in the market.


Postbacks

“Postbacks” is a feature that enables anti-ad fraud tools to feedback their results. Different ad prevention tools might call it differently. It is a useful feature in cases where an ad was discovered to be fraudulent, but the feedback mechanism was unable to show the information in real-time. 

A reliable fraud prevention tool has this feature. It not only gives a detailed breakdown of your campaigns but also keeps you in the loop regarding any new changes; a necessary piece to maintain optimized campaigns while keeping fraudsters at bay.

 

Important Additional Features

 

Granular reporting 

An exceptional anti-ad fraud prevention tool has an interactive dashboard showing exactly how your campaigns are doing. It should segment details in an easy-to-follow manner so that you can track and improve your operations where necessary. 

With every investment, you want to make sure that you are making progress and the tools enable you to track where things are headed. Some of these tools will even provide you with a second, more visual representation of your ad campaigns’ performance and the extent of fraudulent activities in each.


Traffic redirection 

This is a technique used by some anti-ad fraud tools to prevent bots from accessing your website. What the tools do is redirect these bots to a blank webpage, instead of your site, thereby reducing your total CPC budget.


Stellar customer support 

Effective fraud detection tools should offer dedicated, professional, and prompt customer support, enabling you to do more with fewer resources. They should also maintain high uptime and offer accurate and timely information. 

It is a good start if you see that the ad prevention tool offers multiple support channels. This is imperative to better the chances of your team understanding the tool’s operating functions and to quickly resolve any problems that may arise with its usage.


Conclusion

There are more ad fraud techniques than we can mention. Murphy’s law couldn’t be truer when it comes to the concept of digital ad frauds. We’ve all heard stories that are too appalling to be believed and others that leave us shaking our heads in wonder. Scams involving the stealing of businesses’ advertising bucks and making no effort to satisfy the companies’ needs are as fierce as the tools trying to prevent them.

We meant for this short article to help you in selecting the right platform to handle any ad-fraud-related issue you might be facing. If you look closely enough, there is always a solution matching your needs. Note the aspects of your ad campaigns that aren’t performing as they should and use the appropriate ad fraud prevention tool to target the respective fraud.