Digital Ad fraud is a multibillion-dollar problem that is currently affecting the digital Ad
industry. One of the common ways these cybercriminals carry out Ad fraud is through faking clicks
(using click bots) on their web properties, making the advertisers pay without getting real users to
click their Ads. In the end, this increases the advertiser’s Ads budget without necessarily yielding
Publisher audits are one of the latest developments put in place to help reduce fraud risk in the
digital Ads industry. The main role of a publisher audit is to separate quality publishers from all
other websites that run Ads.
Offer18 has an anti-fraud security tool that is meant to sieve out suspicious publishers that
could be sending fake traffic to advertisers websites.
In this article, we will discuss some of the ways publisher audits lower fraud risk. Let’s dive in!
1. Through business process reviews
This involves assessing the publisher’s business practices to help give an insight into the company’s operations and the patterns of the traffic that visits their website. Some of the crucial parameters that are assessed during the business process review include the following;
- Website operations: This involves assessing the publisher’s website to determine how it is managed and the analytics companies they partner with.
- Social media: Involves assessing how the publisher uses their social media to drive traffic to their website.
- Website monetization: Involves assessing how the publisher’s website generates revenue.
- Audience acquisition: This involves assessing how the publisher’s website generates traffic and how much each traffic source contributes.
2. Evaluate the website to establish baseline traffic quantities and quality
Publisher audits also assess the website to determine how much traffic (quantity) they get and of what importance (quality) is that traffic to their website. Before a publisher is verified as a legitimate platform for publishing Ads, they need to meet a certain threshold as far as quantity and quality of traffic are concerned. This helps advertisers to only place Ads on publishers with enough and high-quality traffic.
3. Continuous monitoring looking for anomalies that need to be investigated
Publisher audits continuously monitor publisher’s sites to look out for any abnormal activities. For instance, if there is a spike in traffic within one day, a further investigation is made to establish the source of this traffic. Under normal circumstances, a website’s traffic is supposed to grow gradually over time, so any abnormal spikes have to be investigated to ensure they are not created by click bots.
4. Build inclusion lists with audited publishers
An inclusion list includes all publishers that have successfully completed the audit. Publishers that are not on this list are regarded as non-trusted, so advertisers are advised to stay away from them.
On the Final Thought
The task of lowering fraud risk in the digital advertising space is not perfect yet. However, Offer18 and the rest of our fraud detection partners continue to innovate and come up with better strategies for outsmarting digital Ad fraudsters to protect advertisers from being scammed.