Samuel Scott, Marketing communications manager of Logz.io company specialized in creating programs for checking and analyzing server log files in SEO purposes, explains the specifics of the Internet ad fraud and shares his experience on how an average advertiser can avoid unnecessary risks.
Features of Internet Advertising
Every year western companies report losing about $ 6,3 billion of the official advertising money due to an ad fraud. The main reason here lies in users’ misunderstanding of an impression and its implications.
Unfortunately today most advertisers still think that every single impression corresponds to one-time ad viewing performed by one real customer-to-be, which is absolutely wrong! In fact, it’s nothing but a machine-to-machine talk: a browser tells a specific bot to «view» an ad just once. That’s all.
In other words, 100 000 impressions in a campaign report mean your browser «asked» for the ad network’s help 100 000 times. In this regard absence of the human control promotes the ad fraud spreading.
Most impressions are rarely seen by people. The exact statistics hardly exist, but according to the Bloomberg, 20% of your ads have never been viewed by real users. In the same time MediaPost states that the same index reaches 85 %. Moreover, that percentage varies in different countries and ad networks.
Why people can’t see your ads
- Ad network common issues. The main problem here is that your ad was loaded wrong or wasn’t loaded at all.
- Too intensive bot traffic. Study report, published by The Atlantic, shows that 60 % of the regular web traffic is made by bots.
- Publisher machinations. According to Adweel, 25 % of online advertising market is rascally.
Schemes used by some publishers to increase their profit:
- create hardly visible ad pieces (1*1 pixels), that load and can be considered as full-fledged impressions.
- create «nesting dolls» of the ad pieces. The trick is that every single units of that doll makes an impression. In the same time users can see only a top piece of that construction.
- take users to a landing page or making them mad by showing annoying pop-ups. Yep, both actions can be considered as impressions making.
- place the ads in hardly viewed parts of a website (footers, down the page).
- purchase bot traffic. According to Digiday, one bot visit costs about $0.002. Every time a bot «views» an ad, tricky publisher gets $0.0025–004… Thanks to special networks, there’s a way to get 25 or even 100% gain for doing absolutely nothing.
Mentioned above dishonest methods let only 8% online display ads be viewed by real people. Rest 92% make a reliable source of easy income for ad networks, promoting agencies and boosters, while the advertisers are done.
Good News for Advertisers
- During this year in the U.S CMOs have been analyzing $25 billion spending in field of online advertising. The attempts were made to find more reliable channels for getting a ROI.
- Google has presented ActiveView – a tool that allows advertisers to pay for viewable ads only.
- Almost the same tool is yet to come from Facebook specialists.
- Famous Interactive Advertising Bureau (U. S) stands for greater (70%) viewability. The solution is in progress.
A Few Ways of Protection
- Avoid CPM campaigns. Paying for one thousand clicks you throw away your money.
- Revise analytics wisely. The lower viewability rate is considered the higher CPI you get.
- Check your Cost Per Click (CPC) campaigns indexes. Suppose, you got 25% click fraud estimate. That means you need to use the same index to adjust your CPC campaigns in order to get objective data.
- Pay only for visitor’s actions (CPA). Paying for real actions taken by a customer (buying, adding, sharing, etc) leaves no room for an ad fraud. Well, in most cases…
- Block or at least avoid dealing with fraudulent traffic countries.
If you want to get more info concerning the ad fraud, the following webinar is right for you.
Academy of Internet Marketing WebPromo.Expert.