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How Bots are Used in Ad Fraud What Bots are Used For

Bots are used for everything from generating fake traffic and pageviews, to typing in search terms, and to clicking on search ads.

1 of 13
Augustine Fou- 1 -
Dr. Augustine Fou
http://linkd.in/augustinefou
November 2013
How Bots Are Used
in Ad Fraud
Augustine Fou- 2 -
Make Fake Websites
Bots are used generate fake websites using plagiarized content
and stuffed full with ads.
http://www.google.com/insidesearch/howsearchworks/fighting-spam.html
Augustine Fou- 3 -
Make Fake Traffic
Bots are used to load pages with lots of display ads on them, to
generate “impression inventory” that is sold to ad exchanges.
Source: Alexa
Source: Quantcast
Augustine Fou- 4 -
Generate Ad Views
http://interiorcom plex.com/
http://modernbab y.com/
Bots load page repeatedly to
generate ad impressions
Augustine Fou- 5 -
Fake Mobile Traffic
While “mobile” is more likely to be human, there is no guarantee!
Augustine Fou- 6 -
Fake Searches / Clicks
“vacuum cleaner” keyword
Walmart search ad
Bot clicks through
to walmart.com

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How Bots are Used in Ad Fraud What Bots are Used For

  • 1. Augustine Fou- 1 - Dr. Augustine Fou http://linkd.in/augustinefou November 2013 How Bots Are Used in Ad Fraud
  • 2. Augustine Fou- 2 - Make Fake Websites Bots are used generate fake websites using plagiarized content and stuffed full with ads. http://www.google.com/insidesearch/howsearchworks/fighting-spam.html
  • 3. Augustine Fou- 3 - Make Fake Traffic Bots are used to load pages with lots of display ads on them, to generate “impression inventory” that is sold to ad exchanges. Source: Alexa Source: Quantcast
  • 4. Augustine Fou- 4 - Generate Ad Views http://interiorcom plex.com/ http://modernbab y.com/ Bots load page repeatedly to generate ad impressions
  • 5. Augustine Fou- 5 - Fake Mobile Traffic While “mobile” is more likely to be human, there is no guarantee!
  • 6. Augustine Fou- 6 - Fake Searches / Clicks “vacuum cleaner” keyword Walmart search ad Bot clicks through to walmart.com
  • 7. Augustine Fou- 7 - Solve Captchas Source: Business Insider October 28, 2013 A captcha is difficult for most computers to solve because it distorts letters and numbers in unusual ways, says Vicarious co-founder Scott Phoenix. Humans use their powers of perception to see a "m and o" with a line through it and still read the word "morning." "We picked CAPTCHA to solve because it was explicitly designed to be impossible for computers to solve. If you're trying to build artificial intelligence, CAPTCHA a great test," Phoenix says.
  • 8. Augustine Fou- 8 - Ad Fraud Value Chain impressions clicks leads Networks of algo-generated content sites that attract free organic search traffic Botnets generate fake pageviews which produce ad impression “inventory” (get paid for CPM) Fake leads (get paid for CPL minus cost of filling out lead forms) Click farms generate fake clicks (get paid for CPC) sales Fake sales via affiliate revenue shares; money laundering, especially on digital goods/subscriptions
  • 9. Augustine Fou- 9 - Bad Guys Make Money At every stage of the value chain • CPM impression fraud estimated to be $3 - $7 billion per year (18.9% total digital ad spending) • CPC click fraud estimated to be $5 billion per year (13.5% total digital ad spending) • Lead Fraud – fake forms filled by hand or by bot • Affiliate Rev Share Fraud – plant cookies and get rev share
  • 10. Augustine Fou- 10 - 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
  • 11. Augustine Fou- 11 - 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
  • 12. Augustine Fou- 12 - Related Articles Bad Guys Happily Rob Display Advertisers By: Augustine Fou, July 23, 2012 Everything Fake (Display Ad Fraud, Search Click Fraud) By: Augustine Fou, April 2013 Blacklisting vs Whitelisting By: Augustine Fou, October 2013 Fake Profiles on Facebook By: Augustine Fou, July 2013 How Display Ad Fraud Works By: Augustine Fou, May 2013 Augustine Fou- 12 -
  • 13. Augustine Fou- 13 - Dr. Augustine Fou – Digital Forensics “I advise clients on optimizing advertising across all channels. The most direct path to improving ROI is reducing waste due to ad fraud. I use technical forensic techniques to help clients detect and mitigate digital ad fraud.” 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