looks to eliminate click fraud

Michelle Clancy | 18-12-2013, the digital ad technology company, has implemented a set of protective measures to combat fraud, which it says go far beyond those recommended by the IAB. As a result, it said, it has been able to completely remove traffic fraud from the Marketplace, and also allowed users of our technology platforms Audience Path and Demand Path to detect and prevent fraud across other media sources as well.

"It's an important first step to cut through a lot of the noise and establish parameters around what advertisers and publishers should be looking for when deciding if their investments in digital are paying off," said Teg Grenager, founder and chief product officer of, in a blog. "Knowing how the bad actors operate, whether it's through malicious botnets or other nefarious tactics, can help reduce risk of exposure to these criminal activities."

Advertisers have a fundamental expectation when buying digital media to communicate with and engage their audiences that behind every screen is a person. Unfortunately, that's not always the case.

"Some publishers and ad networks frequently sell more impressions than they can actually deliver natively on their digital media properties (websites, apps, etc)," said Grenager. "And to make up this shortfall they'll do one of two things: buy traffic – pay money to third-parties to drive additional traffic to their sites – or buy 'audience extension' media – source additional impressions in placements on other websites that they believe have complementary audiences. To be clear, these practices are totally legitimate, and neither is fraudulent in and of itself. However, they do provide an entry point for perpetrators of fraud."

Fraudulent traffic sources set up botnets that simulate human Web browsing, and, when paid, simply automatically go about clicking on the targeted digital media properties, thereby generating additional traffic on a website. Unfortunately, this kind of click fraud is difficult to detect. has participated actively in the IAB's Traffic of Good Intent Task Force, which seeks to establish guidelines based on feedback and commentary from all corners of digital advertising, providing a comprehensive snapshot of the industry's efforts to combat intentional and non-intentional fraud. The guidelines also provide marketers with the right questions to ask their technology and content partners.

"Focused on creating and delivering advertising that matters, marketers don't have the time to investigate the issue of fraud. By following these best practices, marketers should feel confident that the digital advertising industry is addressing fraud and that they are contributing their part," Grenager said.