Five Tips for Fighting

Digital Ad Fraud
Dr. Augustine Fou
http://linkd.in/augustinefou
acfou @mktsci .com
February 2014
-...
1. Know Your Ad Placements
Insist your media agency provides
you a list of placements – page
URLs of where your ads were
s...
2. Look for Unusual CTRs
If click through rates look too
good to be true, they probably are
too good to be true. Look for
...
3. Cross Check with Analytics
When real human users click
through on a search ad (or even a
display ad) they tend to stick...
4. Focus on The Right Reach
More reach is not always better; sometimes
in seeking greater reach advertisers place
ads on f...
5. Measure Actions Not Traffic
If your metrics and goals are based on
traffic, then there is the tendency to get
more traf...
6. Advanced Options
Once you have done all of the above,
then you can move on to more
advanced, technical options – this
w...
Motive and
Opportunity
-8-

Augustine Fou
Motive
“Highly Lucrative, Profitable
The aggregate ad revenue for the
sample of 596 sites was an
estimated $56.7 million f...
Opportunity
As a greater proportion
of ads are bought and
sold automatically and
by algorithm through ad
exchanges, it has...
Humans Not
Required
- 11 -

Augustine Fou
Worldwide Bot Traffic
51% suspicious
24-29% confirmed bot

Source: Solve Media via Marketing Charts September 12, 2013
- 1...
Algo-Generated Sites
Source: more screen captures
http://picturesandbox.com/screengrab/grouped.php

- 13 -

Augustine Fou
Algo-Generated Pages
Characteristics
• Auto-generated by bots,
stuffed with search keywords
• To attract organic search tr...
Bad Guys Put Up Sites
site = analyzecanceradvice .com

site = missomoms.com

19 blocked ads on page

- 15 -

Augustine Fou
Load Tons of Ads
http://modernbab y.com/
http://interiorcom plex.com/

- 16 -

Augustine Fou
Load Pages with Bots
Source: Google Digital Attack Map

Source: Wired

- 17 -

Augustine Fou
Bots Type Search Term
healthsiteproduc tionalways.com

buy eye cream online

- 18 -

Augustine Fou
Bots Click Search Ad

Olay.com ad
in #1 position

- 19 -

Augustine Fou
Ad Fraud Detection
and Mitigation
- 20 -

Augustine Fou
Ad Fraud Forensics Process
Preliminary Scan
Sizing of
ad fraud

Forensic Analysis

Maintenance

• Technology Tools
• Stati...
Dr. Augustine Fou – Digital Forensics
“I advise clients on optimizing
advertising across all channels. Using
advanced tech...
Related Articles
Digital Ad Fraud Briefing
By: Augustine Fou December 2013

Fake YouTube Videos
By: Augustine Fou, Decembe...
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Augustine Fou Five Tips for Combatting Digital Ad Fraud

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Basic things that can be done to start to combat digital ad fraud.

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Transcript of "Augustine Fou Five Tips for Combatting Digital Ad Fraud"

  1. 1. Five Tips for Fighting Digital Ad Fraud Dr. Augustine Fou http://linkd.in/augustinefou acfou @mktsci .com February 2014 -1- Augustine Fou
  2. 2. 1. Know Your Ad Placements Insist your media agency provides you a list of placements – page URLs of where your ads were shown. If they say they can’t (or don’t have that data), switch to another media partner. -2- Augustine Fou
  3. 3. 2. Look for Unusual CTRs If click through rates look too good to be true, they probably are too good to be true. Look for outliers and anomalies and compare to industry benchmarks. -3- Augustine Fou
  4. 4. 3. Cross Check with Analytics When real human users click through on a search ad (or even a display ad) they tend to stick around to read what they are looking for; if time on page is 1 second, something is wrong – or at least it won’t lead to any ROI. -4- Augustine Fou
  5. 5. 4. Focus on The Right Reach More reach is not always better; sometimes in seeking greater reach advertisers place ads on far-flung, no-name sites via ad networks. That is where the fraud comes in – and the quality of the traffic/users from those sites is zero. Focus on reputable sites even if the reach is lower, the quality will be better and therefore the ROI as well. -5- Augustine Fou
  6. 6. 5. Measure Actions Not Traffic If your metrics and goals are based on traffic, then there is the tendency to get more traffic and lower cost – that’s when the poor quality traffic from “long tail” sites come in. If you focus on real actions that real human users would take, then you avoid the trap of bad metrics. -6- Augustine Fou
  7. 7. 6. Advanced Options Once you have done all of the above, then you can move on to more advanced, technical options – this would include good guys like WhiteOps, Spider.io, and other advanced techniques for detecting and mitigating more sophisticated ad fraud. -7- Augustine Fou
  8. 8. Motive and Opportunity -8- Augustine Fou
  9. 9. Motive “Highly Lucrative, Profitable The aggregate ad revenue for the sample of 596 sites was an estimated $56.7 million for Q3 of 2013, projecting out to $226.7 million dollars annually, with average profit margins of 83%, ranging from 80% to as high as 94%.” Source: Digital Citizens Alliance Study, Feb 2014 -9- Augustine Fou
  10. 10. Opportunity As a greater proportion of ads are bought and sold automatically and by algorithm through ad exchanges, it has become far easier for bad guys to “sell” fake traffic and impression inventory to unsuspecting, mainstream brand advertisers. Source: Digital Citizens Alliance Study, Feb 2014 - 10 - Augustine Fou
  11. 11. Humans Not Required - 11 - Augustine Fou
  12. 12. Worldwide Bot Traffic 51% suspicious 24-29% confirmed bot Source: Solve Media via Marketing Charts September 12, 2013 - 12 - Source: Solve Media Dec 31 2013 Augustine Fou
  13. 13. Algo-Generated Sites Source: more screen captures http://picturesandbox.com/screengrab/grouped.php - 13 - Augustine Fou
  14. 14. Algo-Generated Pages Characteristics • Auto-generated by bots, stuffed with search keywords • To attract organic search traffic • Not human readable (low instance of natural phrases) • Stuffed with affiliate links and display ads - 14 - Augustine Fou
  15. 15. Bad Guys Put Up Sites site = analyzecanceradvice .com site = missomoms.com 19 blocked ads on page - 15 - Augustine Fou
  16. 16. Load Tons of Ads http://modernbab y.com/ http://interiorcom plex.com/ - 16 - Augustine Fou
  17. 17. Load Pages with Bots Source: Google Digital Attack Map Source: Wired - 17 - Augustine Fou
  18. 18. Bots Type Search Term healthsiteproduc tionalways.com buy eye cream online - 18 - Augustine Fou
  19. 19. Bots Click Search Ad Olay.com ad in #1 position - 19 - Augustine Fou
  20. 20. Ad Fraud Detection and Mitigation - 20 - Augustine Fou
  21. 21. Ad Fraud Forensics Process Preliminary Scan Sizing of ad fraud Forensic Analysis Maintenance • Technology Tools • Statistical analysis • Budget shifts • Further optimization Implementation FREE $$$ Preliminary analysis of paid campaigns and analytics to determine magnitude of the ad fraud impacting client. Creating recommended list of changes, including list of sites to exclude in each ad channel. - 21 - $ Subscribe to triangulated, cross-industry database of “ad fraud offenders” to continuously update blacklists and whitelists. Augustine Fou
  22. 22. Dr. Augustine Fou – Digital Forensics “I advise clients on optimizing advertising across all channels. Using advanced technical forensic techniques and custom tchnology tools, we detect and mitigate ad fraud and waste.” FORMER CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER, HCG (OMNICOM) MCKINSEY CONSULTANT CLIENT SIDE / AGENCY SIDE EXPERIENCE PROFESSOR AND COLUMNIST ENTREPRENEUR / SMALL BUSINESS OWNER PHD MATERIALS SCIENCE (MIT '95) AT AGE 23 ClickZ Articles: http://bit.ly/augustine-fou-clickz Slideshares: http://bit.ly/augustine-fou-slideshares LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/augustinefou - 22 - @acfou Augustine Fou
  23. 23. Related Articles Digital Ad Fraud Briefing By: Augustine Fou December 2013 Fake YouTube Videos By: Augustine Fou, December 2013 How Display Fraud Works By: Augustine Fou, May 2013 Motive and Opportunity for Ad Fraud By: Augustine Fou, February 2014 How Click Fraud Works By: Augustine Fou, November 2013 Fake Facebook Profiles By: Augustine Fou, Dec 2013 The Magnitude of Digital Ad Fraud By: Augustine Fou, November 2013 Fake Twitter Accounts By: Augustine Fou, August 2013 ROI Case for Solving Ad Fraud By: Augustine Fou January 2014 Display Fraud 101 (video) By: Augustine Fou, Feb 2014 - 23 - Augustine Fou

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