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Overview

Advertising fraud is typically done by creating fake ad traffic using content-scraping websites or other environments, launching ads outside of a user’s view, or creating other fictitious mechanisms for delivering ads that are not seen by consumers.

The Sizmek engine identifies fraudulent activity in several categories in verification reporting:

  • Ad Stacking: Ad Stacking is a common fraud technique in which the publisher places multiple ads on top on each other in a single ad placement; only the top-most ad is viewable. Sizmek defines Ad Stacking when 100% of an ad is covered for at least one millisecond and is not 100% transparent. The Sizmek engine detects Ad Stacking for display ads and In-stream ads (VPAID and Enhanced VAST); Ad Stacking information appears in verification reports.

    Note

    Note: We support Ad stacking for In-stream ads (VPAID and Enhanced VAST). Only users with Enhanced Viewability or Video Viewability enabled will see Ad Stacking information.

  • Bot Activity: Activity-based category that identifies automated behavior. (Available in Sizmek Advertising Suite only.)

  • Domain Spoofing: This metric represents the number of impressions for which there is a discrepancy between the DSP URL and the Sizmek-detected URL. (Available in Sizmek Advertising Suite only.)

  • Event Spoofing: This metric identifies invalid traffic that originated from sessions that were recorded and played repeatedly.

  • Geo Spoofing: This metric identifies invalid traffic that originated from location fraud (traffic served outside of your location targeting) as a result of routing through proxy servers. For example, a user in China viewing ads on a US website via a proxy server.

  • Ghost Sites: The Ghost Sites category identifies suspected fraudulent (bot) traffic from sites that are entirely non-human. It is derived from a statistical algorithm that analyses traffic patterns of sites in real-time bidding (RTB) and flags suspiciously high traffic sites as bots, while combining information about the site volume, page structure, and content quality. Due to the nature of bot sites and the high frequency at which they appear, the algorithm is dynamic and is updated on the fly to help detect new Ghost Sites and maintain good coverage.

  • Suspicious Activity: This category identifies impressions that were redirected from a domain that Sizmek has classified as a Ghost Site. These impression were previously counted in Impressions (SIVT).

  • Zero Ads: Zero Ads identifies sites that do not contain ad placements. Ad impressions that are served to these URLs are generated by ad injection, malware, or another fraudulent method. Examples of sites with Zero Ads may include government websites or subscription-based websites.

    The Zero Ads classification is attributed to the entire domain and not to specific pages. This classification includes "child" pages in the site; if all of these pages have no ads, the platform tags it as Zero Ads.

To minimize or prevent ad fraud, you can do the following:

  • For direct buys, use the Ghost Sites and Ad Stacking in verification reporting to remediate with the publisher directly.

  • Use Peer39 anti-fraud pre-bid targeting solutions in programmatic environments. For more information, see Pre-Bid Fraud.

How Does It Work?

The Sizmek engine filters known, IAB-defined bots on every campaign served, irrespective of the use of Sizmek Verification on every campaign. Additionally, the Peer39 statistical algorithm analyses traffic patterns of sites in RTB and flags suspiciously high traffic sites as bots while combining information on the site volume, the structure of its pages, and the quality of its content. Due to the nature of bot sites and the high frequency at which they appear, the algorithm is dynamic and is updated on the fly to help detect new sites and maintain good coverage. The algorithm also identifies attempts to mask domains in RTB and surface the data for targeting purposes.

Note

Note: Sizmek follows IAB guidelines in filtering out suspicious impression or click activity likely caused by bot traffic.

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