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Display Ad Fraud 101 by Augustine Fou Technical Forensics
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Display Ad Fraud 101 by Augustine Fou Technical Forensics



Display ad fraud is more rampant today than it ever was due to the increased use of ad exchanges and programmatic media buying. Without humans actually verifying where the ads are shown, it has ...

Display ad fraud is more rampant today than it ever was due to the increased use of ad exchanges and programmatic media buying. Without humans actually verifying where the ads are shown, it has created enormous new opportunity for bad guys to commit digital display ad fraud -- selling tons of fake impressions into ad exchanges.



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Display Ad Fraud 101 by Augustine Fou Technical Forensics Display Ad Fraud 101 by Augustine Fou Technical Forensics Presentation Transcript

  • Augustine Fou- 1 - Dr. Augustine Fou acfou [at] mktsci.com http://linkd.in/augustinefou February 2014 Display Ad Fraud 101
  • Augustine Fou- 2 - Why Now? “As more ad inventory is bought and sold programmatically on ad exchanges, bad guys are finding it far easier to commit fraud because few agencies and advertisers actually check in detail the hundreds of thousands of sites on which the ads are run. It’s easier to hide in a far larger haystack.” -- Dr. Augustine Fou
  • Augustine Fou- 3 - Real-Time Bidding Real-Time Bidding to Account for 25% of Display- Ad Spending by 2015: eMarketer
  • Augustine Fou- 4 - Types of Ad Fraud Impressions (CPM fraud) Botnets generate fake pageviews which produce ad impression “inventory” that is sold into ad exchanges. Clicks (CPC fraud) Leads (CPL fraud) Sales (CPA fraud) Bots type search queries to bring up search ads and then click on the ads to earn share of CPC. Bot or low wage workers fill in lead forms with real addresses and get paid bounty per lead. Fake sites set up to do cookie stuffing or trick users to click on affiliate links to earn rev share.
  • Augustine Fou- 5 - How Impression (CPM) Ad Fraud Works
  • Augustine Fou- 6 - 19 blocked ads on page Bad Guys Put Up Sites site = analyzecanceradvice .com site = missomoms.com
  • Augustine Fou- 7 - Load Tons of Ads on Pages http://interiorcom plex.com/ http://modernbab y.com/
  • Augustine Fou- 8 - Load Ads in Hidden iFrames Augustine Fou- 8 - Source: Spider.io May 2, 2013 Ads are hidden in up to 72 layers Entire web pages are loaded into ad iframes to boost impressions Multiple redirects and auto page refreshes
  • Augustine Fou- 9 - Fake their “Viewability” Augustine Fou- 9 - Source: Spider.io May 2, 2013 Ads are above the fold of the page But their pixel opacity can be set to zero (invisible) Entire web pages stuffed into ad iframe; ads counted as viewable
  • Augustine Fou- 10 - Use Bots to Load the Pages Source: Wired
  • Augustine Fou- 11 - Traffic Firehose On/Off Legit human traffic does not change rapidly; but bot traffic (firehose) can be rapidly turned off and directed to other sites. Source: Alexa
  • Augustine Fou- 12 - Sell Fake Impressions “Modernbaby.com and Interiorcomplex.com Each of these sites peddles enormous traffic on the exchanges. For example, on a recent day Modern Baby was offering 19 million impressions via one exchange (quite the baby boom) and Interior Complex 30 million [ad impressions PER DAY] (the roaring housing market must be back).” Source: Adweek – Suspicious Web Domains Cost Online Ad Business $400m per Year Peak unique users 141k per month Peak unique users 115k per moth
  • Augustine Fou- 13 - Impression (CPM) Ad Fraud Sizing
  • Augustine Fou- 14 - Display Ad Impressions • By far, the easiest to commit – fill a web page with many display ads and repeatedly load the page with scripts or bots • Clients pay on CPM basis and are usually goaled on the number of impressions delivered and CPM 30 – 75% fraudulent, not-in-view, adblocked IAB: FY 2012 Display Ad Spend = $7.7B
  • Augustine Fou- 15 - Bot Traffic Estimates Source: Solve Media Sept 2013 confirmed bot 24-29%
  • Augustine Fou- 16 - Sources of Fake Impressions Source: Integral Ad Science, via BusinessWeek Nov 26, 2013 Ad exchanges are particularly prone to fraud because shady sites sell enormous quantities “ad impression inventory” into the exchanges for re-sale.
  • Augustine Fou- 17 - Viewability of Display Ads Source: Integral Ad Science Sept 2013 via MarketingCharts Publisher direct is best and lowest risk
  • Augustine Fou- 18 - 500 billion display ad impressions /mo Display Ad (CPM) Fraud 29% confirmed bot traffic ~$1 - $3.50 cost per thousand $2-6 billion wasted ad spend (annualized) Display Ads Source: Solve Media 2013
  • Augustine Fou- 19 - Digital Ad Spend (IAB FY 2013) Impressions (CPM/CPV) Clicks (CPC) Leads (CPL) Sales (CPA) Search 43% $18.5B Video 7% $3.0B Lead Gen 4% $1.7B 11% Other $4.8B Source: IAB, FY 2013 Internet Advertising Report, April 2014 $36.2B Display 19% $8.2B Mobile 15% $3.7B$2.8B NOTE: figures from IAB FY 2013 ($43B annual ad spend) CPM Performance • classifieds • sponsorship • rich media • email $6.5B
  • Augustine Fou- 20 - Digital Ad Fraud Estimates Impressions (CPM/CPV) Clicks (CPC) Search $18.5B $36.2B Ad Spend Display $8.2B Video $3.0B Mobile $3.7B$2.8B (U.S. digital ad spend only) DollarsAvg Fraud Rate $4B50%Display $2B60%Video $6B30%Search $2B40%Mobile $14BTOTALS 39% Multiple sources
  • Augustine Fou- 21 - What Advertisers Can/Should Do
  • Augustine Fou- 22 - Areas of Optimization bots /not seen by humans delivery viewability targeting waste reduction improving optimization 30% 40% 30%
  • Augustine Fou- 23 - Low Hanging Fruit 23% Ad Blocked (PageFair) 54% Not In View (comScore) 24 – 29% confirmed bot (Solve Media) 25% On-Target Delivery (Nielsen) The most immediate, direct impact on ROI comes from reducing waste
  • Augustine Fou- 24 - Digital Ad Forensics Process Sizing of ad fraud Forensic AnalysisPreliminary Scan Implementation Augustine Fou- 24 - • Technology Tools • Statistical analysis Maintenance Preliminary analysis of paid campaigns and analytics to determine magnitude of the ad fraud impacting client. FREE Creating recommended list of changes, including list of sites to exclude in each ad channel. $$$ Subscribe to triangulated, cross-industry database of “ad fraud offenders” to continuously update blacklists and whitelists. $ • Budget shifts • Further optimization
  • Augustine Fou- 25 - Related Articles Fake YouTube Videos By: Augustine Fou, December 2013 Fake Linkedin Profiles By: Augustine Fou, December 2013 Fake Facebook Profiles By: Augustine Fou, Dec 2013 Fake Twitter Accounts By: Augustine Fou, August 2013 An Ecosystem of Digital Ad Fraud By: Augustine Fou, October 2013 Augustine Fou- 25 - Digital Ad Fraud Briefing By: Augustine Fou December 2013 Ad Fraud Fighting Techniques By: Augustine Fou October 2013 How Display Fraud Works By: Augustine Fou, May 2013 How Click Fraud Works By: Augustine Fou, November 2013 The Magnitude of Digital Ad Fraud By: Augustine Fou, November 2013
  • Augustine Fou- 26 - Dr. Augustine Fou – Technical Forensics “I advise clients on optimizing advertising across all channels. One main area of focus is reducing ad waste due to fraud – fake impressions, clicks, leads, and sales – which produces immediate ROI.” 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 @acfou ClickZ Articles: http://bit.ly/augustine-fou-clickz Slideshares: http://bit.ly/augustine-fou-slideshares LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/augustinefou