What you – yes, you – can do to fight ad fraud

As we speak (or, uh, “read”?), someone is out there making you look bad.

And by “you,” we mean digital advertisers (and yes, that includes your pals at Fluency), and by “someone,” we mean a global army of bots controlled by…

…you guessed it (or you just read the title): ad fraudsters.

Wait, how can an ad be fraudulent?

In this world we call home, someone always finds a way to put good things to bad use. Digital advertising is no exception.

In this case, the short answer is that fraudsters generate ad revenue with phony, inflated traffic numbers. This can happen in a number of different ways: false “views” from bad bots, ad stacking (a tactic to rack up fake page views), and even click farms.

Why? As the AdAge video below so adorably explains, scammers sell advertisers “lots of ads” that are never seen by human eyes. In other words, those advertisers don’t get the traffic – or the conversions – they thought they were paying for.

Ad fraud is estimated to cost the digital marketing industry over $7 billion a year. Yes, that’s with a “b.”

And the crazy thing is, it isn’t even technically illegal.

So what can I do?

Luckily, there are some options available to digital marketers.

First, “measure conversions, not clicks,” Search Engine Journal advises. Another way of looking at this is, if you have great traffic but no actual sales, get suspicious.

The website also recommends turning to third-party ad verification services such as Integral Ad Sciences, WhiteOps, and Pixalate.

The tactics go on from there; for a deeper dive on how to fight ad fraud, check out this extensive guide from AdProfs. 

Start here

Step one is working with a digital marketing partner that isn’t staffed by robots – like Fluency Digital (last time we checked, we were human). So if you’re looking to get your ads seen by real people, drop us a line right here and let us know what’s on your mind.

Declan Desmond