In online advertising, some impressions and clicks will be generated by non-human traffic. Non-human traffic basically falls into two categories; maintenance and fraudulent. This page gives an overview of what to know.

Maintenance Bot Traffic

A significant part of web traffic on the Internet today is generated by robots that perform various automated tasks. For example, publishers and SSP's may want to inspect that the ad creatives of their buyers are not broken or malicious. This may generate visits to the advertiser's landing page that originate from unexpected countries, or otherwise distort numbers. Usually, these bots identify themselves as bots, and are thereby easy to exclude in site analytics.

BidTheatre continuously monitors and adds IP's from maintenance bots to our block lists, which will make their activities excluded from bidding and reporting.

Fraudulent Bot Traffic

Unfortunately, online advertising attracts fraudulent setups where automated robots view and click ads to generate revenue for publishers that are either buying robot traffic, or are themselves trying to earn money on fraud. These setups range from easy to detect, to hard to detect. In the programmatic ecosystem generally, and at BidTheatre specifically, we fight ad fraud in several ways

  • SSP+Domain scoring & blacklisting - A given domain from a given market is scored on a variety of attributes to determine the likelihood of fraud. Domains scored over a certain threshold are blacklisted.

  • IP scoring & blacklisting - A given IP is scored on a variety of attribute to determine the likelihood of fraud. IPs scored over a certain threshold are blacklisted.

These blacklists are automatically populated from observed patterns, and also extended with third party blacklists.

Most fraud is battled already at the SSP, stopping bid requests from being sent for fraudulent page views. Battling ad fraud is an ever ongoing process. As a media buyer, exposing yourself to ad fraud can be minimized by adhering to the following basic rules:

  • As far as possible - know your seller. Avoid targeting vast amount of inventory from unknown sellers with the base in unknown countries

  • Keep a continuous eye on the performance of your campaigns, and look for extraordinary click through rates

We take ad fraud very seriously, and are committed to prevent it as far as possible. Please let us know if you're experiencing that your media buying have been exposed to fraud.

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