Google Protects Advertisers, Cracks Down On Ad Fraud
Domains that falsely represent advertising inventory remain a major problem across the Web. Google on Wednesday took another step to fight ad fraud by releasing a feature in DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM) that can block these types of publishing domains, protecting advertisers.Publishers sometimes intentionally make it look like their traffic comes from another Web site -- usually a well-known, premium Web site -- to charge higher rates for ads. The practice deceives advertisers that pay to appear on the well-known brand sites, but end up serving ads on those in which they don't want to associate.
When DBM recognizes that a publisher fraudulently misrepresents domain information, a filter excludes the inventory before advertisers can bid on it, regardless of the exchange or the reported domain. Steps have been taken to ensure the filter targets only cases where the false representation masks the real value of the inventory. Google discovered that in some instances, this type of activity has accounted for up to 40% of inventory for a particular exchange.In one instance, Andres Ferrate, chief advocate for Google Ad Traffic Quality, explains that a publisher attempting to sell ad inventory on a pirated movie sharing Web site was falsely represented with the domain name of a well-known newspaper. The filter prevented ads from being purchased and displayed, thereby safeguarding advertisers from fraud and preventing this copyright-infringing publisher from receiving advertising revenue, according to Andres Ferrate, chief advocate, Google Ad Traffic Quality, in a post.Versions of ad fraud also occur in search results. This is analogous in some ways to the display-serving practice referred to in Ryanair's court action against online travel agent eDreams, in which it pulls in Google, accusing the site of misleading customers and not offering the best deal in search results. Initiated by eDreams, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary says Google did not serve up true Ryanair prices and claims the travel company created Web sites using the keyword "Ryanair" to mislead customers.Overall, the U.S. digital advertising industry loses $8.2 billion a year from fraudulent impressions, infringed content, and costs associated with malvertising, according to a new report commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), conducted by Ernst & Young (EY).More than half the money wasted in the digital advertising ecosystem comes from non-human traffic -- fake advertising impressions that are neither generated by real advertisers nor received by actual consumers. Eliminating these fraudulent impressions would save advertisers more than $4 billion annually, according to the IAB report.