How Proxies Help Improve Ad Verification?

Flipnode on May 10 2023


As ad fraud continues to increase, ad verification has become a top priority for advertisers. The costs associated with digital ad fraud are projected to rise significantly from 19 billion to 44 billion U.S. dollars between 2018 and 2022.

To safeguard their investments, advertisers turn to ad verification practices. This article delves into what ad verification entails and the role that proxies play in the process.

The most common methods of ad fraud

To fully comprehend the importance of ad verification, it's necessary to first discuss the different types of ad fraud. By exploring the most prevalent types, we can grasp the severity of ad fraud and the significance of seeking a solution to combat these fraudulent activities.

Click fraud

Generating fake clicks on pay-per-click (PPC) ads, known as click fraud, is one of the most common ad fraud methods. Ad fraudsters use automated bots or manual methods to carry out this malicious act, often targeting multiple ads on a large scale. According to the fraud protection platform PPC Protect, 11% of all search clicks are fraudulent.

Click fraud is a serious problem for advertisers as it results in increased site revenue, lower conversion rates, and exhausts the advertising budget.

Ad injection

Malicious entities engage in ad injection, which involves replacing or overlaying original ads on legitimate ad spaces without permission. Ad fraudsters may even place ads on websites that do not typically display ads.

For advertisers, this means that unwanted ads may take over their purchased ad spaces due to ad injection. Furthermore, they may not know whether their purchased ads are running or not.

Invisible and hidden ads

This type of ad fraud is difficult to detect since the original ads are not visible to humans, yet impressions are still counted. Ad fraudsters use several methods to conceal or make ads invisible:

  • Pixel stuffing: Ads of standard dimensions are compressed into a tiny 1x1 pixel frame.
  • Ad stacking: Multiple ads are layered on top of each other in a single ad placement, resulting in only one advertisement being seen by website visitors.
  • Malicious entities may also show ads outside of the website's viewport area.

There are numerous other ad fraud techniques, including domain spoofing, cookie stuffing, and more. Combating ad fraud is a difficult task, and the main issue is that malicious entities continue to create increasingly sophisticated versions of ad fraud. However, ad verification can help advertisers protect their ad budgets and generate high-quality traffic to their sites.

What is ad verification?

Ad verification encompasses various measures to ensure that ads are displayed in the right context and reach their intended audience on appropriate websites. This is beneficial for publishers as it helps reduce the risk of displaying fraudulent ads on their sites.

Ad verification services are commonly employed by advertisers to ensure that specific ad attributes align with the terms set out in the ad campaign settings, such as location, content, or site parameters. Verification tags inserted into the ad code enable data collection about the publisher's site content to determine whether the page is suitable for the ad. The collected data is then reported back to the advertiser or ad verification company, where analysts analyze the advertisement's performance, placement, etc.

Ad verification vendors employ various methods to detect and prevent ad manipulation, as ad fraudsters continuously evolve their tactics. To outsmart malicious entities, ad verification companies must develop sophisticated solutions, with proxies playing a crucial role in this cat-and-mouse game.

Proxies for ad verification

Utilizing technologies that mimic genuine user behavior is crucial in combating ad fraud. Ad fraudsters may attempt to thwart ad verification efforts by blocking IP addresses. Residential proxies allow ad verification vendors to assist their customers in identifying the barriers that prevent ads from reaching their intended audience without being detected by fraudulent entities.

Why are residential proxies suitable for ad verification?

You may be aware that there are several types of proxies, with datacenter and residential proxies being the most common. While datacenter proxies find extensive use in various domains, residential IPs are the preferred choice of ad verification companies. The reason for this lies in their origin.

Residential proxies are offered by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), which makes them authentic IP addresses. By using residential proxies in ad verification, ad fraudsters cannot detect the ad verification companies that are examining ads.

On the other hand, datacenter proxies originate from companies such as data centers, which are not associated with ISPs. As a result, their IP addresses do not come from real users. Despite their high speed and uptime, datacenter proxies are easy to identify. This is their biggest disadvantage for ad verification, which is why residential proxies are the optimal choice for this purpose.

Main ad verification challenges

Ad verification poses numerous challenges, but the use of residential proxies can alleviate some of them and enhance the ad verification process.

  • IP blocks. When an IP address is blocked, it hinders the ad verification process. Fortunately, residential proxies offer a solution as ad fraudsters cannot easily detect and block the IP addresses of ad verification companies.
  • Geo-locations. Without proxies, users or ad verification companies can only view ads from their country. However, ad verification companies require access to all ads, irrespective of their location. Opting for a reputable residential proxy provider with global coverage of residential IPs can address this concern.
  • Anonymity is also crucial for a smooth ad verification process. Trusted proxy providers ensure complete anonymity of their residential proxies.

Wrapping it up

Online businesses are constantly under threat from malicious entities who are constantly developing new techniques to damage successful businesses and gain the maximum benefit for themselves. One of the most vulnerable areas in online companies is digital advertising. Ad fraudsters use various techniques to manipulate ads, drain advertisers' budgets, generate fake traffic, and manipulate ad statistics. Nevertheless, ad verification with the aid of residential proxies can be one of the most effective solutions to combat ad fraudsters.

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