Case Study: How ADEX Uncovers and Liquidates Traffic Fraud
The advertising industry is whiplashed by fraudulent activity. Detecting fraud and getting rid of it is not that easy, but ADEX knows the way to do it. Want to see us in action? Here is a prominent case study to discover.
Thousands of advertisers get into the fraud trap – no matter if they are newcomers or pros. They invest money into campaigns that are served to a huge amount of bots, which causes financial loss. What is more, fraud tampers with campaign data and affects further analysis, so you have no idea how your ads actually perform.
The problem is that differing bots from natural traffic yourself is not that easy – modern fraud techniques are advanced enough to mimic human behavior.
Luckily, you’ve got ADEX and we are here to help you detect and fight the bad guys, no matter how witty they become. We have already helped numerous customers save their businesses from being flooded by nasty bots. In today’s article, we would like to present a couple of cases and support our words with deeds. Read on to see how we detect and sling the bots out.
Case #1: Fraud Publishers and Their Artificial Traffic
Bots are diverse and they can be harmful in many ways, but the most widespread scheme is pretty straightforward – fake impressions and clicks. Being simple from the first glance, such tricks are not that easy to uncover.
Advertising networks are really vulnerable to this type of ad fraud – they have to cooperate with numerous publishing platforms and some of them might turn out to be cheaters. Checking them all manually is not always easy and never prompt. As such, there is a risk of losing your precious time, money, and even reputation.
Last March, one advertising network (our partners preferred to remain anonymous) came to ADEX with a serious issue. They suspected two publishing platforms of selling fake traffic as authentic. When network advertisers started sending their complaints, our partners realized that a time for a deep-check is now.
The network owners performed a manual check with the help of an in-built traffic evaluator. How surprised they were, when the results turned out to be more than satisfactory. No fraudulent activity was found. However, the customers continued complaining.
Unfortunately, most in-built estimators are not precise enough, so they rarely detect the sources of harmful traffic.
The in-house attempts to spot the sources of fraudulent activity resulted in waste of time and money. As the network owners were trying to detect the problem manually, cheaters continued receiving their $300+ of stolen budget every day.
During March, the thieves made a fortune – they got about $7K in total.
Being pretty sure that there is something to be done immediately, the advertising network representatives came to ADEX. We checked these suspicious platforms and here is what we saw in the stats:
These are the numbers for March (a part of them). Something that catches the eye definitely is a gap between the amount of impressions and actual conversions. While the number of impressions can reach almost 2 000 000, the conversion number is no more than 300.
If you find such stats a bit weird, well, we can tell immediately – this is a sign of fraud. We suggested that the ads were shown to bots and this caused such a huge amount of impressions. As bots are not very likely to buy or download something, the conversion rate is small. And the budget goes down in flames.
So after this test, we banned two sources of fraudulent traffic at once.
After throwing the cheaters overboard, the advertising network enjoyed much better times. No advertisers’ budgets were affected anymore, while reliable publishers received more chances to sell their inventory.
ADEX has an eye for such fraudsters. And, of course, for the other schemes, as well. Let’s continue discussing them.
Case #2: Fake Clicks
Fake clicks are pretty similar to fake impressions. However, such bots are smart enough to take actions and press the buttons, not only watch the ads. Our next partner, a successful media agency, became a victim of such a fraudulent scheme.
When reviewing their stats, the media agency representatives realized that something strange was happening there. They were concerned about the high amount of clicks per link and suspected fraud activity.
Our customers were Google affiliates and their previous revenue was pretty high – about $5K daily before the bot attack. How disappointed they were when the numbers dropped to $500 daily. And all because of the ad fraud.
Without losing their time, the media agency representatives came to ADEX.
After hearing the complaints about a high amount of clicks per link, we checked the suspicious zones. We have found the bad quality traffic out there and excluded those zones entirely.
Zone exclusion was the right decision – we deprived cheaters of the opportunity to steal our customer’s budget at a stroke.
As the suspicious zones were excluded, the customer’s budget became safe. What is more, without any suspicious activity caused by bots, their site became more trustworthy for Google, so their rating improved.
To achieve that, we switched the lossmaking zones off and focused on the fruitful ones. The $500 of daily revenue has turned into $2K within two weeks and the numbers continue growing.
In today’s case studies, we reviewed two stories of our customers. These were an advertising network and media agency, both affected with fraudulent activity.
- Fake impressions
The first company received numerous complaints from their advertisers – all because of two cheating publishers. Once they asked ADEX for help, we easily detected the root of the problem and banned fraudsters.
- Fake clicks
The second company lost their Google rating as well as advertising money because of the fake clicks delivered by bots. After reviewing their stats and making the right conclusions, we have excluded the harmful zones and sweeped a mess up.
- Problems solved
Now, both of our partners enjoy pure fraud-free traffic, great reputation, and optimized campaign budgeting. After clearing the fraud away, our customers could invest the same sum as they used to, but the revenue grew several-fold. The reason is simple – no more bots were gulping their money anymore.
In case you suspect that your business is being attacked by fraudsters, make sure not to lose your time and ask ADEX for help as fast as possible. The quicker you rely on professional help, the less money you are going to lose.
What is more, even if you have already fallen victim to criminals – don’t panic. We will help you create a custom report and demand a refund.
ADEX is your shield and sword when it comes to traffic fraud!