Humans Not Required (for Digital Ad Fraud) by Ted McConnell Augustine Fou


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Bad guys are getting massively efficient at their money-making. Especially in digital advertising, they make money while they sleep and while other human customers sleep too. That's because with the proliferation of media buying using automated platforms, there is the corresponding proliferation of ways to generate fake impressions and clicks and siphon large amounts of digital ad spend.

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Humans Not Required (for Digital Ad Fraud) by Ted McConnell Augustine Fou

  1. 1. Humans Not Required (for Digital Ad Fraud) Ted McConnell Dr. Augustine Fou February 2014 -1- Augustine Fou
  2. 2. “Bad guys used to have to create „spider web‟ pages and wait for unsuspecting humans to land and click through on affiliate links – so they could earn a trickle of revenue share.” -- Augustine Fou -2- Augustine Fou
  3. 3. 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 -3- Augustine Fou
  4. 4. Affiliate Links on Page PStwNw&AffiliateID=TnL5HPStwNw-Hc5zkpsnZO2pj1vg.2uttw -4- Augustine Fou
  5. 5. Affiliate Rev Shares Camera rev shares: $25 - $78 Computer $15 - $28 Electronics $13 - $56 -5- Augustine Fou
  6. 6. “But now, they just put up hundreds of thousands of websites, in order to serve up display and search ads – and get paid a lot more money for millions of impressions, views, and clicks – all fully automated, and all 99% profit.” -- Ted McConnell -6- Augustine Fou
  7. 7. Bad Guys Put Up Sites site = analyzecanceradvice .com site = 19 blocked ads on page -7- Augustine Fou
  8. 8. Load Tons of Ads on Pages http://modernbab http://interiorcom -8- Augustine Fou
  9. 9. Use Bots to Load the Pages Source: Wired -9- Augustine Fou
  10. 10. Bots Type Search Term healthsiteproduc buy eye cream online - 10 - Augustine Fou
  11. 11. Bots Click Search Ad ad in #1 position - 11 - Augustine Fou
  12. 12. Redirect Link(s) Known blackhat technique to hide real referrer and replace with faked referrer. SIX (6) redirects before ending on the landing page See how-to: blackhat-seo/cloaking-contentgenerators/36830-cloakingredirect-referer.html - 12 - Augustine Fou
  13. 13. Pass Fake URL Trackers _medium=cpc&utm_camp aign=Olay_Search_Deskto p_Category+Interest+Prod uct.Phrase&utm_term=eye %20cream&utm_content= TZsrSzFz_eye%20cream_ p_2990456911 Click thru URL passing fake source - 13 - Augustine Fou
  14. 14. Subject Matter Experts - 14 - Augustine Fou
  15. 15. Ted McConnell – Digital Consigliere “My Goals are to drive, and participate in the process that yields the winning vision for my clients. I'm a Digital Marketing Generalist: I've Run large organizations, been staff to c-level executives at P&G, hold 4 Patents, successfully driven change in Marketing and Advertising practice in P&G and other companies.” ADVERTISING RESEARCH FOUNDATION MANAGER, DIGITAL MARKETING INNOVATION AdAge Articles: LinkedIn: - 15 - Augustine Fou
  16. 16. 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 – in order to raise 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 ClickZ Articles: Slideshares: LinkedIn: - 16 - @acfou Augustine Fou
  17. 17. Digital Ad 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. - 17 - $ Subscribe to triangulated, cross-industry database of “ad fraud offenders” to continuously update blacklists and whitelists. Augustine Fou
  18. 18. Low Hanging Fruit The most immediate, direct impact on ROI comes from reducing waste 25% On-Target Delivery (Nielsen) 54% Not In View (comScore) 23% Ad Blocked (PageFair) 24 – 29% confirmed bot (Solve Media) - 18 - Augustine Fou
  19. 19. APPENDIX - 19 - Augustine Fou
  20. 20. Related Articles Humans Replaced by Machines By: Augustine Fou, Nov 2012 Fake YouTube Videos By: Augustine Fou, December 2013 Digital Ad Fraud Briefing By: Augustine Fou December 2013 Fake Linkedin Profiles By: Augustine Fou, December 2013 Ad Fraud Fighting Techniques By: Augustine Fou October 2013 Fake Facebook Profiles By: Augustine Fou, Dec 2013 How Display Fraud Works By: Augustine Fou, May 2013 Fake Twitter Accounts By: Augustine Fou, August 2013 How Click Fraud Works By: Augustine Fou, November 2013 The Magnitude of Digital Ad Fraud By: Augustine Fou, November 2013 - 20 - Augustine Fou
  21. 21. White Ops Bot Analysis Source: White Ops - 21 - Augustine Fou