Online Advertising fraud
The programmatic buying of advertising is an automated way to make the process of advertising on the Internet.
From the negotiation for the price, the offer of the advertising spaces available until its publishing, measurement, delivery of results and collections.
This offers many advantages in terms of cost optimization and decrease in expense as it is an automated service; with the added value of maximizing investment by only presenting ads to people whose behavior and profile offers the greatest potential to its clients.
However, lately there have been situations that have called into question the effectiveness and above all, reliability in these platforms.
Various types of fraud affect the programmatic purchase, these are some of them:
Malicious programs (malware) that run on infected computers. These mimic the behavior of human users and visit sites that have ads to post views of advertising.
With these false views, advertisers pay thinking that they were made by real people and not by computers.
Impersonating a real site can be as simple as using an address that seems legitimate, such as usatodaycom.com (instead of the famous usatoday.com), so that people assume it is the original address and attribute credibility to it.
More sophisticated may be the fact of registering the site on a platform for purchase of ads, making it go through another to get the reputation of the main site and get better prices for selling their advertising space.
These two elements, combined were those that occurred in the methbot fraud, in which hackers created a huge network of zombie computers that visited pages that they created, impersonating real sites and obtaining great income from the sale of advertising and the purchase of the advertising spaces.
Place several ads, one on top of the other
Since advertising is not paid by the a person who saw it, but technically for the times a site requested an ad server for an ad, it does not necessarily imply that a person saw it at all.
If several overlapping ads are placed, one above the other, each time the site is viewed, it will be counted as if all the ads have been viewed at the same time, generating higher revenues without meeting the objective of being seen by people.
Another similar technique is to put ads in the bottom of the page, so that if the page is displayed and the user does not scroll the page until the end, you will not see it but it will be counted as if it had been displayed.
Striking headlines (clickbait)
In this technique the content editor seeks to generate more traffic to his website, making his ads shown to more people and at the same time raising the price of their advertising space.
An example of this are those which sow concern and make us click to know what it is like in the following image.
It is considered fraud when the content that we obtain after clicking is unsatisfactory or does not meet the expectation it generated when we saw it.
Being automatic by nature, without human intervention, the selection of suitable sites to place ads has been a serious problem especially for YouTube after a major agency in the UK decided to withdraw all ads from its customers of this platform.
The decision was made after many ads of some brands, which appeared on pages related to hate content or support for terrorism, were reported.
No brand wants to be seen as a sponsor of negative causes, because of this the decision was made to withdraw the ads.
The underlying problem is that the selection of the sites to place the ads, and the verification of the content are done automatically; which has proved insufficient to contain the problem.
The last type of fraud occurs when it is promised that the advertisement will be available in the way it is planned and, due to poor creative planning or technical difficulties, the message is not displayed in the best possible way, minimizing its effectiveness.
The programmatic advertising is still in its infancy in México and it is expected to have a great development.
It is time to know more in depth, in the business part as technically to be aware of its scope and limitations, to get the most out of it.