Better Understanding On Invalid Traffic And how to Reduce it
The total number of China’s advertising traffic is made up of 30% of invalid traffic in 2018. Similarly, in Q3 2018, the US had a fourth-highest ad fraud rate where at least 17% of ads were visited by non-human traffic. Needless to point out now that invalid traffic is a world-wide problem. All publishers, including you, are receiving some amount of invalid traffic and clicks on their websites, regardless of your size and your niche.
The truth is that nobody can entirely eliminate this invalid traffic. As a website owner, you still need some bots (like search engine bots) to crawl your website. However, you can certainly work on preventing the bad ones from giving out fake clicks and impressions.
What is Invalid Traffic?
According to the Google AdSense:
Invalid traffic includes any clicks or impressions that may artificially inflate an advertiser’s costs or a publisher’s earnings.
This can be done by mistake or deliberately with the intention of fraud. In both cases, these clicks and impressions have no actual value. From the perspective of the advertisers, such traffic doesn’t end up becoming good leads (ultimately resulting in revenue), hence, makes the impressions and clicks worthless.
Invalid traffic includes:
-Publishers give impressions and also some clicks on ads served on their own websites.
-Publishers taking help of automated tools (click bot, bot farm, and software) to create fake traffic
-Fraudsters using bot traffic to spam the web pages and stealing user’s data.
MRC further classifies this invalid traffic into two types:
-General Invalid Traffic (GIVT): General invalid traffic includes spiders, crawlers, and bots that scan websites and do not mimic human traffic. This invalid traffic is not sent with an intent of fraud and can easily be identified.
-Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT): Sophisticated IVT is a bit tricky to catch and eliminate. This traffic is designed to mimic human behavior and cause fraud. Generally, it takes a sophisticated combination of advanced analytics, machine learning, and human intervention to detect such traffic.
Tips for Reducing Invalid Traffic
Invalid traffic is not good for anyone. Fake impressions and clicks increase the cost of advertisers. And too much of non-converting traffic can lead to a decrease in the market value of a publisher’s inventory. Not just that, invalid traffic messes up with the analytical data, making it difficult to plan campaigns on the advertiser end and to forecast inventory on the publisher end.
Hence, when you notice suspicious traffic (like a sudden increase in users or spam comments), it’s best to take that seriously.
Know About Your Traffic and Users
Start by breaking down your audience in segments based on channels, location, device usage and more. Analytics tools like Google Analytics can help you with the same. Watch out for a sudden fluctuation in the number of users or suspicious user behavior. Next, keep looking at metrics like average session duration and page scroll depth. All visits lasting <1 second and most users not scrolling past at least 10% of page depth are signs of bot/invalid traffic. Being informed is the first step to prevent invalid traffic.
Don’t Purchase Traffic
How is purchasing traffic for your webpage getting to do any good? Once, your subscription expires with the traffic provider, you’ll be right down to low/no traffic. Purchased traffic mostly consists of click farms where either computer software or humans are assigned to supply impressions and clicks. this may never be good for your brand. Instead, invest in better content, user experience, and program optimization to organically increase traffic.
You ideally want the advertisers (advertisements) on your site to satisfy their goals (getting better leads and conversion). which might eventually benefit you with advertisers willing to pay more for the standard of your site and therefore the conversion that comes with it?
Never Click on Your Own Ads
Never click on your own ads and/or ask your friends/family to click on an equivalent. AdSense features a very strict policy for invalid clicks on ads. Publishers’ click on ads is easily spotted by Google (mostly with IP address monitoring). In response to such activities, Google suspends or disables the publisher’s AdSense account. Remember, the important purpose of ads is conversion and for every genuine click, Google pays you. just in case you’ve got clicked on one among your ads by mistake, inform Google as soon as possible. Clicks by accident always happen to publishers and Google understands that as long as these are in the limit.
Follow Best Practices for Ad Placement
Placing your ads during a way that induces users to click on them by mistake is additionally considered as fraud. If your ad tags are overlapping content or hidden behind the page elements, then clicks will cause IVT. confirm you make sure the ads aren’t disrupting the user experience. Take help from ad viewability best practices, if needed.
Get Your Traffic Vetted by a Third-Party
There are a variety of ad fraud detection companies helping publishers combat ad fraud including invalid traffic. There are Companies that detect invalid traffic like the WhiteOps and Pixalate by the Media rating council (SIVT). These companies help by eliminating the non-human traffic before the location loads (or ad loads) in real-time. Furthermore, by taking the assistance of a third-party company, you’ll dodge other fraud like domain spoofing, ad injection, ad viewability issues also.
AdSense Helps filter Invalid Traffic
Google Analytics also makes it easy for the user to filter the invalid traffic out. follow this step to know how to:
Go to your Analytics account and click on on the Admin button.
Next, attend the View tab and click on View Settings.
Scroll right down to find the Bot Filtering option and click on the checkbox, if it’s unchecked.
Save the settings.
Google Analytics is really good at finding and also filtering bot traffic. but, this doesn’t guarantee you 100% removal of invalid traffic.
What Else Should a Publisher Know?
Elias Terman, vice chairman of selling at Distil Networks, explained, “Actually, publishers lose tons extra money than they realize to fraud because they don’t think about the revenue they lose when fraudsters send bots to go to their sites to make a fraudulent cookies bot audience, then sell their cookies NHT as readers on the open exchanges. Advertisers allot a allow this traffic, but it’s the fraudsters, and not the publishers, who collect it.” Given this traffic will cause no conversions in the least, it’ll become difficult for the advertisers to continuously pour in budgets to your site for the future.
Advertisers are always watching out for any means to avoid working with such publishers with invalid traffic. within the process, they hire ad fraud protection agencies that simply eliminate and/or block publishers with suspicious traffic. so as to avoid ad fraud, there’s a price to be paid to a corporation helping you to fight them. What meaning is that rather than the entire budget being spent on your site, a neighborhood of it’s now being spent on these fraud prevention companies (ultimately reducing publisher revenue).
Hence, publishers are recommended to suits the above-mentioned tips to avoid invalid traffic and better ad standards to form the foremost out of their inventory.