The internet is a huge source of ad revenue, so it makes sense that advertisers are interested in preventing fake clicks on their ads. However, despite the best efforts of many advertisers and search engines, this problem remains a large one.
In order to earn money from fraudulent clicks, criminals often infect computers with malware or create bot networks (also known as “botnets”). These machines are programmed to click on ad campaigns repeatedly, earning the criminals cash for each click that occurs.
Cybercriminals also use these bots to spoof user data and clicks for ad campaigns. These techniques can lead to a significant drop in conversion rates and can lower the overall effectiveness of the ad campaign.
Determining and identifying the source of ad fraud is a challenge, but there are some tactics you can employ to protect yourself from it. These include:
Keeping a blacklist of IP addresses and device IDs that appear to be click bots is another useful tactic in reducing or eliminating click fraud. Keeping such a blacklist ensures that your ads run only to sites that have been flagged for suspicious traffic.
Maintaining a honeypot is another effective way to prevent click fraud and expose the bot network behind it. These ad servers have a special ad that is indistinguishable from a human, but if a bot clicks on it, the ad server then uses a special bluff to expose the bot’s network and lead to its IP address being blocked.