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Invalid Traffic (IVT)

This article explores various types of invalid traffic.

Written by Marcus Johansson
Updated over a week ago

In online advertising, some activity related to ad impressions, clicks and conversions will be generated by invalid, or non-human traffic. Non-human traffic falls into two categories; maintenance and fraudulent.

Maintenance Bot Traffic

A significant part of web traffic on the Internet 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.

Fraudulent Bot Traffic

Unfortunately, online advertising attracts fraudulent setups where automated robots view and click ads to generate revenue for publishers or middlemen. These setups range from easy to hard to detect, and battling ad fraud is an ever ongoing process.

Protection from IVT


Most IVT is identified already at the SSP, stopping bid requests from being sent to BidTheatre for IVT page views.


At BidTheatre, we identify IVT in several ways:

  • We work with Digital Element ( to automatically identify and exclude IP's originating from hosting environments.

  • We work with Fraudlogix ( to automatically identify and exclude inventory with high score of IVT likelihood.

  • Proprietary 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.

  • Proprietary 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.

The buyer

As a media buyer, exposing yourself to IVT 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 invalid or potentially fraudulent sellers.

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