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What is Digital Ad Fraud?

Digital ad fraud refers to the deliberate act of misrepresenting or obfuscating ad engagement metrics. It is committed by fraudulent traffic (from bots as well as humans) that generates dummy impressions and adversely affects the CTR (click-through rate). The invalid activity from bots drains ad serving resources and affects publishers’ efforts to build a premium ad inventory. Non-human traffic also distorts site analytics and affects marketing campaigns. In addition, invalid traffic hurts a publisher’s brand reputation, impacts ad verification reports, and harms quality scores. Currently, most security measures are ineffective in filtering human-like bot activity.

Types of ad fraud include Traffic Sourcing, Ghost Sites, Domain Spoofing, Click Farms, Ad Stacking, Pixel Stuffing, and Ad Injection. See the Digital Ad Fraud section in the Knowledge Base for an explanation of these types of fraud, among others.

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