Over the past decade, digital advertising has taken over as one of the main communications and revenue channels of companies to target their ideal clientele. With that, various ways of manipulating and confusing data came to the fore which created a demand for tools to track and decipher digital advertisements correctly.
Every click we make on every web page leaves a digital footprint, and this information can be either beneficial or detrimental to advertisers (and publishers), depending on how correct the data is. People trying to make quick cash are always finding new ways to deceive advertisers – one main method being creating fake ad traffic. This can be done through fake websites, modifying ad tags or even using malware to simulate mass traffic.
This scheming has gained momentum at a drastic speed, with ad fraud losses increasing by billions of dollars each year. According to Statista.com, the estimated cost of digital ad fraud worldwide in 2018 was a whopping $19 billion.
The Introduction of Ad Verification to the Scene
The alarming number of fraudsters ensuring that advertisers waste their money on ads that never see their intended target audience, has created the demand for ad verification tools.
Ad verification gives online marketers the ability to monitor where their ads appear, that they are indeed on the correct web pages at the correct time and being seen by the intended audience.
The most straightforward method of doing this is with a proxy service that uses residential IPs. Whereas a regular data center proxy leaves a possibility that fraudsters will detect the person trying to verify their ad, a residential IP will go unnoticed and show the customer their advertisement as it is truly being shown – if at all – and whether it is being done so as they intended (including all the site, content, context and geographical parameters that were agreed upon).
A Responsibility to Produce Clean Traffic
Although it may be tempting to guarantee impressive amounts of traffic to an advertiser, at the end of the day a brand wants to know that they have spent their digital advertising budget on clean and reliable traffic, not bot-generated traffic that has no hope of turning into revenue.
However, the brand is not the only victim of ad fraud, as publishers can get undercut by fraudsters who spoof domains, messing with the publisher’s data integrity and jeopardizing their credibility.
Ad verification provides a safeguard that helps to create a more trusting environment between advertisers and publishers.
Keeping a Step Ahead
Ad fraud is a multi-faceted burden that has hit the digital marketing industry with billions of dollars in losses. The channels of deception that hackers have created can take on many forms, including everything from fake click traffic and impressions to completely hijacking the advertiser’s ad, replacing it with one that generates revenue for the hacker instead of the paying website.
Using a technique called “cloaking”, bad actors disguise a site’s true content, showing different content to human readers than what is shown to search engine bots, increasing their ranking while deceiving both the search engine and the viewer. However, by using residential IPs, GeoSurf customers can trick the tricksters to see and scrape the true content of a webpage.
With the use of residential IPs, a GeoSurf customer can visit sites from multiple international locations, changing from country to country with the click of a button, viewing different markets as a target audience member with ease. Using residential IPs to hide one’s location, also allows customers to track that their ads do not appear near content that could be harmful to their brand, like hate speech, porn, etc.
By utilizing a residential proxy service that allows users to scrape the content of a webpage to analyze all the information on it, marketers can both keep an eye out for fraudsters as well as on their industry’s competition.
GeoSurf offers ad verification proxy API, easy to use Chrome and Firefox browser extensions as well as an App for IOS and Android devices, so that GeoSurf customers can check that content from different channels looks and works as it should.
By stripping away the cloaking tools that fraudsters use, all parties can see a web page the way it is meant to be seen. This is crucial for the brand to use, as well as publishers.
Where to from here?
With any booming industry, there will always be fraudsters trying to piggyback off innovation. That’s why its critical to always stay ahead of the pack and use the tools at your disposal to fight back.
Ad verification has taken great strides to do this and increased the trust and transparency between brands, advertisers and publishers, creating better business practices.
GeoSurf offers its customers over 2Million IPs in 192 countries and over 2000 cities in the world, helping media buyers and sellers across the globe, verify their marketing activities. Whether from small businesses or large corporations, GeoSurf has been assisting its customers with the tools and one-on-one support they need for ad verification since 2009.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help your business, contact our team: firstname.lastname@example.org