Problems faced by Publishers
Digital advertisements are largely governed by user engagement than user attraction. While every ad publisher may have inventory in various forms at its disposal, the one which engages more than it attracts is the one that shall boost user activity on any platform.
Ad publishers are owners of ad inventory who usually use a Supply Side Platform (SSP) to display their space to potential advertisers. The SSP is often linked to an ad exchange wherein it provides information with regards to the kind of inventory available. An SSP, therefore, can be considered as a digital agent that connects a publisher to the market (ad exchange).
Every publisher’s objective is to ensure that the maximum amount of their inventory is sold through Real-Time Bidding (RTB). This process also serves as an eye-opener to the publishers in terms of understanding their most profitable inventory, the kind of audience that engages with the same and realizing the segments which can fetch more benefits by expanding their websites.
As green as the grass seems from a distance, the programmatic ecosystem also poses several challenges to modern publishers of various advertisements. A few notable ones are as follows:
Like advertisers, publishers can also fall prey to several ad frauds. Some prominent ad frauds faced by publishers are:
1. Domain Spoofing: It means an imposter domain disguised as a genuine website that prompts an advertiser to pay a higher amount for displaying the ads. To know more about domain spoofing, click here.
2. Ad Injection: This involves faulty placement of ads by criminals on websites owned by genuine publishers without their knowledge.
3. Click farms: Click farms are humanoid versions of bots wherein the fraudulent clicks are undertaken by humans instead of bots. Since the behaviour of bots is identifiable in various cases, click farms consist of humans indulging in activities like ad clicks, app downloads and website browsing to present a genuine impression.
2. Devaluation of a publisher’s premium inventory
In a programmatic ecosystem, a publisher often uses a tactic; to sell the premium inventory through direct sales as compared to programmatic targeting. This helps in ensuring that the publisher is fetching a higher value which is at par with the quality of the inventory sold.
But did you know that publisher websites might have ads injected with the help of a malicious app or adware plug-ins?
In such cases, the premium inventory of publishers is often compromised. Without the knowledge of the publishers, a fraudulent party may occupy a premium space in the publisher’s website through the injection of ads from non-premium brands. The revenue from clicks and impressions on such ads goes to the fraudster. This leads to a loss of opportunity on the part of publishers. Thus, ensuring a fair valuation of inventory is a major challenge that lies before the publishers.
3. Cookie Stuffing
A lot of times, a fraudulent party drops cookies on a user’s browser. When the user accepts such cookies, the party indirectly claims that the user is being directed to a particular advertiser’s campaign through the party’s link. Thus, every time a user makes a purchase or undertakes a subsequent action on the advertiser’s site, the fraudulent party becomes liable to receive a commission for it. In a simple sense, this process is known as cookie stuffing. Such parties wrongfully and forcefully gulp a publisher’s share of affiliate revenue for every purchase made by the user. Thus, it becomes imperative and all the more challenging for publishers to be aware of such cookie stuffing; be it on the user’s browser or their website through the installation of malicious extensions.
A major challenge faced by modern digital publishers is transparency. This can be seen from the following perspectives:
a) Source of traffic: This involves transparency in terms of the exact source of the users visiting a publisher’s website. Keeping a track of users from unknown and non-targeted geographies and similar bots is a tedious task as such sources lead to worthless impressions on ads.
b) Ad details and landing page disclosure: An advertiser or a platform in between normally shares a pixel or a tag to show the ads on the publishers site. In case of direct placements through a creative and link the publisher is well aware of the type of ad and where it leads to but in case of pixel or a tag this transparency is missing. Imagine an ice cream ad redirecting a user to an inappropriate website; this happens when the publisher lacks complete information about the ad being displayed and the landing page where the user would be redirected to when the ad is clicked. Such a lack of transparency can also damage a publisher’s reputation as the users visiting the website would perceive it as spam and an inappropriate ad promoter.
Is there a sure short way to tackle these challenges effectively? Yes, there is. Let’s take a look at the solution.
ClearTrust to the rescue – How can we help?
ClearTrust is an Invalid Traffic (IVT) Management Software for media buyers and publishers. ClearTrust is a Software As a Service and provides monitoring, blocking and optimisation of IVT for media businesses who deal in buying, trading and selling of programmatic digital media such as impressions and clicks. ClearTrust offers 100+ Filters, Accurate verification, Fast Action & Transparent Reporting.
At ClearTrust, we have built specific traps related to Publisher fraud to get you out of this nuisance. By simply turning on these traps you can stop all traffic generated from bot networks, click farms, domain spoofing, injected ads, and many more.
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