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Ad Fraud Wreaks Havoc On Measurement

Writing for AdExchanger, Augustine Fou, digital strategist and independent ad fraud researcher, argues that while most industry stakeholders know what ad fraud is by now -- and some have deployed fraud and bot detection services to measure it -- they don't always know how fraudulent actions negatively impact analytics and measurement. Fou says bots "create ad fraud by visiting websites, clicking on ads and passing fake data to cover their tracks. Faithfully recorded by analytics platforms, this fraudulent activity can artificially skew data up or down, making the measurements unreliable." Furthermore, he maintains that while many in the industry measure ad blocking rates, a single, averaged number may not tell the whole story: "Fraud bots that deliberately cause ad impressions to load obviously don’t use ad blockers, so the average ad-blocking rates may be low because of bots. That’s not a good thing." And "in mobile environments, where standard measurement technologies and techniques may not be able to measure ad blocking, a lower rate may simply mean incomplete measurement, instead of less ad blocking."

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