Top 3 Ad Verification Challenges
Headline: Ad verification is the process of verifying whether an ad is reaching the target audience. Let’s find out how to prevent ad fraud by using proxies for ad verification.
Advertising is the lifeblood of any business. Besides, the widespread access to the internet allowed advertising to reach a massive target. However, there’s the risk of ad fraud by scammers which prevents your ad from reaching your target audiences.
In case this happens, then you can rely on ad verification.
What is Ad Fraud?
Online advertising is a burgeoning market running into billions of dollars. In fact, advertisers spend tons of cash to run online ads. However, an equal number of people want to commit ad fraud by either showing more “impressions” (views) or by hijacking the ads of others.
In general, there are various kinds of ad fraud. Here are some of them:
- Hidden or invisible advertisements – This is done to create the impression that many people have viewed the ads.
- Impression laundering – This is where the publisher puts out ads on illegal sites but shows the advertiser a different site.
- Ad hijacking – This is done by scammers who remove the original ad and place their own ad instead.
- Click hijacking – When a user clicks on a valid ad, he’ll get transferred to the scammer’s ad, thereby generating more impressions.
Of course, there are other ad fraud methods out there. Overall, it causes a lot of revenue losses to genuine advertisers because they do not get returns on their money spent.
What is Ad Verification?
Then there’s ad verification, a process by which an advertiser can check whether the ad was placed on the right site, in the correct location, and has reached the correct audience. Moreover, ad verification is usually done by a third party to ensure that the verification is impartial.
Some examples of ad verification agencies are Confiant, CHEQ, and Moat, among others. In general, an ad verification company protects a publisher or advertiser in four ways:
- Preventing and checking for ad fraud
- Checking the suitability of the brand and looking after the safety of the brand
- Securing viewability of the ad
- Securing the ad’s geo-positioning
Challenges in Ad Verification
An ad verification company tries its best to combat ad fraud and provide publishers and advertisers with safer methods to place and monitor ads. However, this can often be an arduous process. This is because ad verification companies can face several challenges, such as:
1. Scammers Using Advanced Technology
Ad verification companies make use of advanced technologies and methods to prevent ad fraud. However, scammers also have access to the same advanced technology and techniques.
So, for every check that ad verification companies devise, scammers will almost always find a workaround. That is why ad fraud can’t be eradicated. At most, advertisers can only continue to fight it.
2. Limitations in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Ad verification uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to curb ad fraud. However, both technologies have their limitations as well. A few of these limitations are as follows:
- Blacklisting IP addresses suspected of spurious activity is one way to try and stop fraudsters. However, fraudsters can easily change their IP address and avoid being blacklisted by simply using proxy servers.
- Deterministic rules can fight basic ad fraud. However, scammers are getting more sophisticated. As a result, rule-based methods do not work all that well if used alone.
- ML and AI need a lot of data to function properly. To “learn” a system, a lot of data is required so that rules can be formed or patterns observed. However, scammers do not allow this to happen as they keep changing strategies. Therefore, ML and AI need to be used in conjunction with other methods to combat ad fraud.
3. The Possibility of Being Discovered by Scammers
To check ad fraud and fraudsters, ad verification companies need to go online and check for any suspicious activity. In addition, they try to visit suspicious IP addresses. However, if they do this directly, scammers can quickly discover them and block their IP addresses instead.
Therefore, ad verification agencies need to overcome this dilemma by using proxy servers so that their requests for information from suspicious IP addresses won’t get discovered.
4. Using Proxy Servers to Combat Ad Fraud
Ad verification agencies use proxy servers to avoid being discovered. To increase their chances of remaining undiscovered by the scammers, they often use rotating residential proxy servers.
For example, an ad verification agency in the UK could use a US proxy to monitor sites that seem to display fraudulent activity. Using a US proxy ensures that they remain undiscovered and undetected.
So, just like how scammers use proxy servers to avoid being found out and banned, ad verification agencies can also use rotating residential proxies to avoid being banned by the scammers. However, it’s best to keep in mind that fraudsters also have the same technologies and can use proxy servers to avoid detection by ad verification agencies.
Ad fraud is a growing issue that causes massive losses to publishers and advertisers alike. This can be prevented, or at the very least minimized, by using ad verification paired with the use of proxy servers to avoid detection. However, ad verification is a difficult task with many challenges. Moreover, ad fraud is here to stay. It may never be eradicated, so the best we can do is to contain them.