Polygraph warns online advertisers about arbitration websites

Advertisers have a new threat draining their ad budgets, except this time it’s legal and encouraged by many ad networks

Arbitrage is a technique used by publishers to trick visitors from low-quality websites into clicking on high-value advertisements. According to Trey Vanes, chief marketing officer of cybersecurity firm Polygraph, arbitration is similar to click fraud.

“Advertisers pay an ad network like Bing Ads to display their ads on publishers’ websites. Each time the ads are clicked, advertisers pay a fee to Bing Ads, and Bing Ads shares those fees with publishers. Fraudsters Clickers take advantage of this system by creating fraudulent publisher websites and generating massive amounts of fake ad clicks, earning them hundreds of thousands of dollars each month and can be devastating to advertisers, as click-throughs are worthless and never lead to sales,” Vanes said.Arbitrage is very similar to click fraud. Publishers use click-bait ads to send low quality traffic to their websites where visitors are forced to see seemingly random ads, and confusingly, a percentage of those visitors click on the ads, earning money for arbitrageurs and exhausting advertising budgets. advertisers.

Unlike click fraud, arbitrageurs do not compel visitors to click on advertisements, but deliberately target naïve Internet users with clickbait advertisements and then direct those visitors to unrelated, but high-value advertisements. , on the publisher’s website, some of the visitors end up clicking on the advertisements, without fully understanding that they are clicking on an advertisement.

“The whole adjudication system targets unsophisticated Internet users who don’t fully understand what they’re clicking on,” Vanes said. “By using deliberately terrible ads to attract visitors to their websites – think of ads such as ‘something weird’, you’ve probably wondered why these ads exist – arbitrageurs attract naïve internet users who end up on a site website that has nothing to do with the ad they clicked on. Not knowing what to do next, a percentage of these visitors click on what’s in front of them – in this case, it’s valuable advertising.

“The main problem with this is that these visitors offer little or no value to advertisers, so the end result is that advertisers pay for the clicks, and the ad network and publishers get paid. That’s a problem. .”

Unlike click fraud, which is illegal and sometimes results in criminal prosecution, arbitrage is legal and encouraged by many ad networks. “We spoke to people who previously worked for arbitration websites, and they told us the goal was to scam advertisers. To make matters worse, ad networks recommended which high-value ads they should use, ensuring maximum profits for the ad network and arbitrageur, and losses for advertisers,” Vanes added.

Polygraph monitors the activities of click fraud gangs, learns the techniques they use to defraud advertisers and how prevent click fraud. Arbitration offers a new challenge, as it’s legal and encouraged by many ad networks, but Vanes has some advice for worried advertisers. “Most ad networks allow you to block specific websites from showing your ads. Advertisers can use this tool to block arbitrage websites. Be aware that arbitrage companies attempt to circumvent this system by modifying their website addresses and subdomains, so it is important that you continually update the list as new arbitrage websites are exposed.

Polygraph can help advertisers prevent click fraud and arbitrage websites from stealing their advertising budgets. For more information, please visit https://polygraph.net

About the polygraph

Based in Berlin, Germany in 2021, Polygraph monitors the activities of click fraud gangs, including how they operate, who they target, the techniques they use and how to detect their fraud. We go way beyond bot detection to make sure your ad dollars aren’t stolen by cybercriminals.

Contact details:

Friedrichstrasse 114A Berlin, BE 10117, Germany

Trey Vanes, polygraph
+49 (030) 2204 4851

About Stuart M. McFarland

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