New study by Fraudlogix shows fraudulent impressions are concentrated in relatively few areas of RTB programmatic market
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (May 25, 2017) – A new study by Fraudlogix shows that a majority of ad fraud is concentrated in a small percentage of sources within the real-time bidding (RTB) programmatic market. The ad fraud detection company, which specializes in monitoring ad traffic for companies on the sell-side of the RTB digital ecosystem, analyzed 1.3 billion impressions from over 59,000 sources over a 30-day period and found that 68.2 percent of fake impressions came from just 3.2 percent of sources (i.e., publishers).
Additionally, it found that those sources that generated the highest percentage of fraudulent impressions contributed a disproportionately high amount of impressions to the RTB market. Sites with more than 90 percent fraudulent impressions accounted for only 0.9 percent of publishers but contributed 10.9 percent of the market’s impressions. This signifies how detrimental fraudulent publishers can be to market quality as sites generating fake impressions can quickly outpace sites sending real traffic.
Overall, the study found 18.8 percent of impressions to be fraudulent. An impression was considered fraudulent (or fake) if a combination of digital and behavior characteristics synonymous with ad traffic generated through fraudulent means such as bots, scripts, hijacked devices and click farms was detected.
Fraudlogix’s objective in the study was to analyze the root entry points, or sources, of fraudulent impressions to determine the distribution of ad fraud in the RTB programmatic market. Ad fraud is often reported as affecting a flat percentage of ad traffic within the marketplace with little mention of how it’s distributed among publishers.
“To solve any problem, you must get to the root of it,” said Fraudlogix CEO Hagai Shechter. “Getting to the root of ad fraud problem means looking at where fake impressions are originating – and they’re coming from a very small percentage of publishers who are flooding the market with fake impressions. Some of these publishers are outright criminal organizations who set up ghost sites with the sole purpose of monetizing with fake traffic. Others are legitimate publishers to some degree but try to supplement their sites’ traffic by buying very cheap clicks. And any click traffic offered for a fraction of a cent is likely fake.”
“This study is not meant to downplay the risk of ad fraud or delegitimize marketers’ concerns,” said Shechter, “This is about painting a clearer picture of the marketplace and the state of ad fraud. Too many good publishers are getting blamed for the actions of a few fraudulent players. The high percentages of fake impressions often reported do not accurately represent the market as a whole.”