Disruptive Marketing Blog

What is Ad Fraud?

Marketing is integral when it comes to making and/ or boosting your sales. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the product or the service industry. Marketing will always play a critical role in the success of your business. Advertising is one important aspect of marketing. It’s an important tool when you’re trying to drive sales up or optimize your site. This is the reason why ad fraud has become so common, especially click fraud. It might sound inconsequential. However, advertisement fraud is estimated to cost a whopping $7 billion a year globally.

How does online advertising work? You advertise your product, service or site. Online users then click on the advertisement, directing them to your site. As the advertiser, you pay for every click that you get on your advertisement. In other cases, you pay for ad space from a website in order for your ad to appear on their page.

How does Fraud Occur?

Most people know about click fraud but are oblivious of the other forms of online ad fraud. The most popular ones include:

Clicking Fraud

When it comes to click fraud, there are two main types. The first is where a competitor will click on the ad just to drive your costs up. Every business is hinged on efficiency. This means that you need to minimize your costs and maximize your profits. When competitors drive up your costs, they also minimize your profits. This messes with your business and places them ahead of you.

Viewability-banners

The second type of clicking fraud is perpetuated by publishers. People hire other people through ‘work-from-home schemes.’ These people are paid to click on your advertisement. The problem with this is that you end up paying the publisher but don’t have any conversions to show for it. Consequently, your costs are high so your profits deteriorate.

Search Fraud

Publishers who engage in search advertisement fraud are crafty. They over-optimize a site for high cost keywords. This gives you the illusion that they have traffic streaming to their websites. In actual sense, there is no traffic. You end up paying a lot for to have your ad published but will have nothing to show for it at the end of the day.

Domain Spoofing

This type of fraud is downright illegal. Some people create websites and then manipulate the domain to look like it’s from another site. This often happens when the website owner wants to trick the advertiser into thinking that they have a lot of traffic on the website. Also, having your ad published on a respected, established or brand website is more productive than a new, upcoming one. It’s therefore more expensive as well. The advertiser ends up paying more than they should to have the ad published on the site.

Stacking Advertisements

For this type of fraud, you will actually have your advertisement published on a page. However, the site owner sells the same ad space to a number of different people. He or she then stacks the advertisements. When you visit the site, you will get an impression because the ad is actually there. However, site visitors only see the first ad. Though this might not affect you if yours is the first ad, you don’t want to gamble and end up losing money if it’s not.

Stuffing Pixels

Like stacking as, stuffing pixels also gives an impression of the ad when you visit a site. However, visitors are unable to see the advertisement. How is this possible? Simple: the advertisements are placed in pixels so that they are actually there but not visible. This beats the purpose of having an ad published in the first place. Since there’s an impression whenever you visit the site, you still end up paying for the space although it’s not beneficial to your marketing strategy.

Summary

Ad fraud is a malicious way for people to make money off online advertising. People have found ways to manipulate advertisers and drive up their costs. The good thing is that, now you know the different forms of fraud. The next step is to find out how you can protect yourself from advertisement fraud so that your marketing strategy yields the fruit you desire to see.