There has been a ton of buzz over fraud the past year in display, and it really hasn’t gone away. People know all the stats, and they know it’s a big deal, but most people still don’t know how to combat this problem.
White Ops has stated that advertisers will lose $6.3B this year due to bots. For video campaigns, 23% of all impressions are served to bots. Bot percentages even change per domain category. For finance, up to 22% of ads are shown to bots, 18% in family, 16% for food, 11% for travel, etc. (All of this is based on a study that White Ops and ANA conducted) That’s a pretty big deal, and it’s impacting everyone.
In my upcoming blog posts I’ll take a deep dive into different types of bots and fraud, but let’s start with some initial tactics you should be implementing first.
- Ultimately, you’ll want to partner with a 3rd party to track your bots/fraud percentages. This will be crucial to tell if the rest of the steps you’re doing are actually working! So think about your DoubleVerify’s, Integral Ad Science’s, Moats, White Ops, etc. Thoroughly vet them, and make sure that the partner you select has everything that you need.
- Dayparting is an important step, particularly on prospecting strategies. You want to make sure that you’re pushing spend during daylight hours. Think about it this way, people go to sleep, bots don’t. So at night a larger percentage of your audience is going to be bots.
- Blacklisting is one of the most effective things you can do. You’ll want to do this in several ways. First, blacklist sites that your partners flag as high fraud. Secondly, pull a top-level domain list and comb through, a lot of times sites with abnormally high CTR’s are full of bots. Lastly, it’s good to go through your TLD list manually from time to time and look at the site. Is it something that you want to align your brand with? Does this look like a legitimate site? I would recommend doing all of these as often as possible, at the bare minimum at least 2-3 times per month.
- Work with your exchanges, and get to learn about their processes for fighting fraud. Most of them have something in place, but it’s always great to find out what they are doing, and get tips from them. Some exchanges are willing to partner with you to do different tests, and will work on make-goods depending on the 3rd party you are using. It can’t hurt to ask!
- Make sure that the DSP or vendor you are using is utilizing the IAB’s Spider & Bot List. Most of them are, but it’s always good to check on the IAB’s website. The IAB updates this list on a monthly basis of all flagged users and sites. This essentially adds another layer of protection, that doesn’t have to be done manually by you.
Just remember, that fraud is impacting you whether you are working programmatically, directly with a vendor, only working on a direct response campaign, or only running retargeting. There are a ton of misconceptions out there like “I work directly with a premium publisher, so I don’t show my ads to bots” false, or “I only run retargeting, so I’m targeting real humans” also false. You can retarget to a bot, and bots impact all publishers, and all exchanges. Start these steps today, and you’ll be saving your client money, and driving their cost per human impression down in no time!
Stay tuned to learn more about the different types of fraud!