How to detect fraud traffic

How To Detect Fraud Traffic

If you found this post from Google, probably you already know what is fraud traffic, if not, here is a short explanation from me:

Websites and apps buy advertisements from other websites, apps and ad networks, but it can turn out that ad providers cheat and fake clicks, views or even KPIs. Latest researches prove that even “purchase” KPI often faked, just to keep draining advertiser’s money. Example given: You might be paying 1000$ for advertisements, but the ad provider willingly spends 500$ just to keep your other 500$ to himself.

I personally tend to offer revenue share instead of CPI, CPA, CPM, because in that case – ad provider takes the risk on his own, and you only pay him if you get sales, and you don’t have to pay if no sales were generated.

But, as those ad providers don’t want to take the risk or purposefully want to make you pay more than you get in return, most of them will decline revenue share offers. In case where you are forced to use “cost-per” based advertisement, make sure to follow these steps to detect and disable fraud traffic providers.

How To Detect Fraud Traffic:

  1. Your main KPI should be “purchases” only, I mean ARPU (average revenue per user) and LTV (life-time value), never justify advertisement success on any other factors like retention, activity etc. Also make sure your ROI isn’t negative, as purchases can be fraudulent as well.
  2. Try to add fraud-trap KPI to your app/website. Tell ad provider it should have unrealistic number – like 10% from DAU, while organic shows only 1% or less. Fraudulent ad provider will purposefully make 10% for you and you will understand that.
  3. Analyze traffic sources, if ad provider guaranteed you traffic 100% traffic from France, but you are seeing 10-30% from Russia or Thailand – that is suspicious. Just few cases might mean VPN usage though, don’t bother.
  4. Analyze secondary user activity – whatever actions usually users take besides purchases – use chat, use your frebies, add details to user profile. Fraud traffic most likely won’t do anything besides the KPI you set.
  5. Too high secondary KPIs known to ad provider might also mean the traffic is fraudulent and actions are faked. Either don’t disclose KPIs to ad provider, or tell them unrealistic expectations, so you can understand if they cheat on you.

Do you know other methods? Share them in comments!

Follow Sam Tyurenkov:
Hi there, I'm a web-designer, marketing and product manager, business developer. I have created this website and about 25 others. I'm also doing various tasks for IT projects besides websites - like mobile games.