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Ad Fraud in Mobile Research by Augustine Fou

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Many people still think ad fraud is lower in mobile. Let's dispel that myth.

Published in: Mobile
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Ad Fraud in Mobile Research by Augustine Fou

  1. 1. “is ad fraud higher or lower in mobile?” April 2017 Augustine Fou, PhD. acfou [@] mktsci.com 212. 203 .7239
  2. 2. “it’s more lucrative and less measurable… hmm, what do you think?”
  3. 3. April 2017 / Page 2marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou NONE of the bot lists work user-agents.org bad guys’ bots 2% and “on the wane” Source: GroupM, Feb 2017 bot list-matching 4% Source: IAB Australia, Mar 2017 400 bot names in list “not on any list” disguised as popular browsers – Internet Explorer; constantly adapting to avoid detection 10,000 bots observed in the wild
  4. 4. April 2017 / Page 3marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou NONE of current js detection works In-Ad (ad iframes) On-Site (publishers’ sites) • Used by advertisers to measure ad impressions • Limitations – tag is in foreign iframe, cannot look outside itself ad tag / pixel (in-ad measurement) javascript embed (on-site measurement) In-Network (ad exchange) • Used by publishers to measure visitors to pages • Limitations – most detailed and complete analysis of visitors • Used by exchanges to screen bid requests • Limitations – relies on blacklists or probabilistic algorithms, least info ad served bot human fraud site good site
  5. 5. April 2017 / Page 4marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Bad acting apps load more ad impressions App Name Source: Forensiq
  6. 6. April 2017 / Page 5marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Fake mobile devices install apps Download and Install Launch and Interact
  7. 7. April 2017 / Page 6marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Suspicious apps (CTRs too high) suspicious mobile apps
  8. 8. April 2017 / Page 7marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Magnitude of the ad fraud problem websites Source: Verisign, Q4 2016 329M domains mobile apps 159 million “sites that carry ads” 11 milion “sites you’ve heard of” WSJ ESPN NYTimes Economist Reuters Elle 10,000 “apps you’ve heard of” Facebook Spotify Pandora Zynga Pokemon YouTube 96% “apps that carry ads” 3% no ads no ads 7M apps Source: Statista, March 2017
  9. 9. April 2017 / Page 8marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Top 25 apps used by humans
  10. 10. April 2017 / Page 9marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Top 10 apps by time spent by humans
  11. 11. April 2017 / Page 10marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Top apps used by humans by category
  12. 12. April 2017 / Page 11marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Half of humans download 0 apps /mo
  13. 13. April 2017 / Page 12marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Apps have 1/3rd uniques, 20X time spent
  14. 14. April 2017 / Page 13marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Primary mobile revenue is from ads In-App Advertising App Store
  15. 15. April 2017 / Page 14marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Mobile ad revenue mostly from games
  16. 16. April 2017 / Page 15marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Top apps April 2017
  17. 17. “do you think bad guys will install your fraud detection SDK in their apps?” “your CPI campaigns are not immune to fraud” “it’s not lower in mobile, you just can’t measure it.”
  18. 18. April 2017 / Page 17marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou About the Author
  19. 19. April 2017 / Page 18marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Dr. Augustine Fou – Independent Ad Fraud Researcher 2013 2014 Follow me on LinkedIn (click) and on Twitter @acfou (click) Further reading: http://www.slideshare.net/augustinefou/presentations https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/augustinefou 2016 2015
  20. 20. April 2017 / Page 19marketing.scienceconsulting group, inc. linkedin.com/in/augustinefou Harvard Business Review Excerpt: Hunting the Bots Fou, a prodigy who earned a Ph.D. from MIT at 23, belongs to the generation that witnessed the rise of digital marketers, having crafted his trade at American Express, one of the most successful American consumer brands, and at Omnicom, one of the largest global advertising agencies. Eventually stepping away from corporate life, Fou started his own practice, focusing on digital marketing fraud investigation. Fou’s experiment proved that fake traffic is unproductive traffic. The fake visitors inflated the traffic statistics but contributed nothing to conversions, which stayed steady even after the traffic plummeted (bottom chart). Fake traffic is generated by “bad-guy bots.” A bot is computer code that runs automated tasks.

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