Browse Definitions:
Definition

ad fraud

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Ad fraud is a type of scam in which the perpetrator fools advertisers into paying for something that is worthless to them, such as fake traffic, fake leads or misrepresented and ineffective ad placement.

Types of ad fraud include:

Click fraud: One of the oldest and most common types of ad fraud, click fraud is the generation of fake traffic through automated clicking programs called hitbots or the efforts of large numbers of low-wage earners employed by a click farm. Despite the high click rates, there is no possibility that any of the fake traffic will lead to a sale, so the advertiser is paying for nothing.

Search ad fraud: The perpetrators create websites and use keyword stuffing to artificially improve their position on a search engine results page (SERP). The fraudsters focus on popular keywords, which yield the highest cost per click. Advertisers for whom those keywords are relevant then buy ads on the fake websites, where they have little chance of being seen.

Ad stacking: The publisher sells multiple ads on the website for a given spot. All of the ads are placed there, generating impressions when people view the page, but the ads are stacked so that only the top one is visible.

Domain spoofing: The fraudster misrepresents the domain where an ad is to be placed as that of a legitimate and high-profile website. In real-time bidding (RTB) advertising, publishers can sometimes identify their domain. The publisher of a website offering pirated videos, for example, might pretend to be associated with the site for a legitimate movie studio.

Pixel stuffing: Ads are placed within pixels on the page. Because they are on the page, an impression is registered when anyone visits it but because they are invisible, no potential customer actually sees them.

According to White Ops, a security vendor, ad fraud costs the advertising industry $7 billion annually, on a global basis.

See also: ad fraud botnet

This was last updated in January 2017

Continue Reading About ad fraud

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • black hat

    Black hat refers to a hacker who breaks into a computer system or network with malicious intent.

  • copyright

    Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative ...

  • keylogger (keystroke logger or system monitor)

    A keylogger, sometimes called a keystroke logger or system monitor, is a type of surveillance technology used to monitor and ...

SearchHealthIT

  • population health management (PHM)

    Population health management (PHM) is a discipline within the healthcare industry that studies and facilitates care delivery ...

  • ICD-10-PCS

    The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-PCS) is a U.S. cataloging system for...

  • U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM)

    The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) is the largest biomedical library in the world.

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

SearchStorage

  • open source storage

    Open source storage is data storage software developed in a public, collaborative manner that permits the free use, distribution ...

  • CompactFlash card (CF card)

    A CompactFlash card (CF card) is a memory card format developed by SanDisk in 1994 that uses flash memory technology to store ...

  • email archiving

    Email archiving (also spelled e-mail archiving) is a systematic approach to saving and protecting the data contained in email ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • RRAM or ReRAM (resistive RAM)

    RRAM or ReRAM (resistive random access memory) is a form of nonvolatile storage that operates by changing the resistance of a ...

  • JEDEC

    JEDEC is a global industry group that develops open standards for microelectronics.

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification written for internally mounted storage...

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close