Traffic fraud is a leading, multi-billion dollar problem facing today’s digital media advertising industry. According to a recent report out of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), 36% of all Web traffic is considered fake. While there is currently no way to prevent online fraud completely, many tools exist that serve as effective countermeasures. The following highlight 3 best practices to monitor online media sources for early traffic fraud detection:

1. Partner with companies that guarantee clients are provided with the greatest accountability in online advertising – via ad verification, brand safety, viewability, and privacy compliance services.

2. Rigorously vet programmatic cohorts to ensure they generate their media from legitimate sources only. The following systems illustrate how to certify that ad inventory originates from verified media publishers:

Inventory Pre-Vetting

  • Excludes undesirable publishers, sites, and categories.
  • Filters all non-directly contracted inventory.
  • Prohibits activities like daisy chaining and other unacceptable forms of impression delivery.

Automated Fraud Detection

  • Scans for unusual, suspicious, or outlier activity – both browsing behavior (to spot impression fraud) and click behavior (to identify click fraud) – via proprietary software analytic techniques.
  • Improves methodology constantly as new data is collected.

Proactive Filtering

  • Flags fraudulent traffic to safeguard bidding.
  • Increases performance and ROI by not wasting dollars on non-human impressions. (Only humans buy products!)

Open Data Sharing

  • Reports flagged or suspicious activity regularly to help locate the origin and to prevent fraudulent issues.

3. To further minimize risk, leverage the many brand safety controls available in today’s market. Since different clients have varying requirements and objectives, companies must offer the tools and the flexibility to make the appropriate decisions for their needs. Third-party partners – DoubleVerify, Peer 39, AdExpose and TrustMetrics – authenticate that every impression meets commonly adopted industry standards. The following tools are helpful in investigating, analyzing, and preventing potential fraud:

Flexible Whitelisting and Blacklisting

  • Allows users to either run a broad list of approved sites or maintain exclusions around known distrustful sites.

Site Transparency Reporting

  • Facilitates periodic review and site inclusion/exclusion decisions via impressions, clicks, conversions, and spend at the site level.

Built-In Brand Safety Settings

  • Spans a wide array of functionality including negative content, channel, category and keyword filters.