Anyone working with PPC or Real-Time Ad bidding knows or at least should know, about the high cost of ad fraud. Juniper Research estimates that fraudulent ad clicks costs will reach $42 billion in 2020 and soar up to $100 billion by 2023.
According to a research published by the Bryan School of Business and Economics in January 2019, “Click fraud is among the most lucrative activities for botnet operators. One recent estimate suggests that a “botmaster” with a network of 30,000 bots can make profits of US$26,000 per month by launching distributed denial-of-service attacks, more than US$18 million per month by engaging in bank fraud, and more than US$20 million a month by using bots to perpetrate click fraud schemes.
The roots of this online advertising fraud problem lie partly in the opaque nature of the advertising supply chains, and players in the digital advertising ecosystem often benefit from this lack of transparency. Middlemen such as DSPs, ad exchanges, and ad networks profit from ads that run through their systems even if the ads are not viewed by real people or contain malware.”
As these criminal profits rival traditional unlawful activities at a fraction of the risk, ad fraud is a booming industry destined to grow and capture an increasing part of the marketing budget invested in ad bidding platforms.
The ad fraud prevention industry is hard at work to protect advertisers, creating new fraud protection systems. In fact, they are playing cat and mouse with fraudsters, trying with limited success to stay ahead in the game. To do so, they are attempting to neutralize the primary ad fraud methods prevalent today:
- Misattribution (i.e., click spam, click injection; ~80% of ad fraud)
- App install farms
- SDK spoofing
- Domain spoofing
- Cookie stuffing
- Hidden ads/ads stacking
- Bots & servers
- Malware engagement
Typically, ad fraud prevention services are available to advertisers for a fee. These services are either included in the ad service provider basket or provided by an external agency or SaaS, with variable degrees of success.
With 2key SmartLinks, there are no ad fraud prevention extra costs, but ad fraud is near zero.
Powered by blockchain technology, 2key PPC SmartLink anti-ad-fraud system leverages both Machine Learning and AI technology, the unique checks and filters specific to Ethereum Plasma, smart-contract defined spam limits, and referrers reputation scores.
Today, when running a 2key PPC SmartLink campaign, you know that every single click is already verified to:
- Ascertain the user is human - based on several factors from hidden and visible captcha challenges recapture to Plasma-based techniques that cannot be divulged here to avoid tipping off ad fraudsters.
- Prevent multiple clicks by the same user - based on traditional IP checks and additional undisclosed filtering mechanisms, both traditional and blockchain-based.
- Prevent multiple clicks by the same machine/browser - based on various undisclosed methodologies.
- Discard the clicks exceeding the limit set by the campaign creator - When creating a campaign, you can limit the number of qualifying direct joins per referrer. For example, if the number of qualifying joins per referrer is set at 10, that referrer cannot have more than 10 humans join after them in the chain (either as referrers or clickers). Any referrer emanating from that referrer, beyond the limit, would not be allowed to create his SmartLink, and any click from the 11th click onwards will not qualify to earn a reward. This is a compelling way to optimise and control the topology of the referral graph, and to ensure referrers remain focused on sharing your content with customisable limits you set on the required selectivity in their referrals , to incentivise them to share your content only with members of their community most likely to be receptive to your content.
- Discard the clicks falling outside the target audience set by the campaign creator - When creating a campaign, you can define a target audience by location, gender, and age. 2key uses a combination of Machine Learning, AI, and other tools to filter out any click emanating from people that fall outside your target audience (for now supported only Country and language auto-filtering, the rest are up to the human referrers discretion and feedback mechanisms)
- Reputation system to incentivise faithful referrals and conversions - users get reputation points which earn them 2KEY tokens for highly selective and successful referrals, and lose reputation points for spammy or otherwise bad results. This incentivises the users
- Feedback System -
By integrating blockchain technology in its anti-ad-fraud system, 2key eliminates:
- The vast majority of misattribution
- Almost all app install farms
- All SDK spoofing
- All domain spoofing
- All cookie stuffing
- All hidden ads/ads stacking
- All bots & servers
- Almost all malware engagement
This translates into a near elimination of ad-fraud-related costs, or, more precisely, downright losses, and a drastically increased ROI.
To optimize audience targeting even further and prevent hackers from bypassing the existing measures, 2key will soon enable additional verification options such as:
- Limit qualifying conversions to clicks by signed-in users verified by Facebook/Google/Civic.
- Limit access to the content to whitelisted verified email readers (either by personal email or by domain/company such as *@company.com.)
- Activating the dynamic reputation model - referrers gain or lose reputation points according to the result of their activity -conversion ratio, positive/negative feedback - and campaign creator will be able to limit the number of valid clicks granularly according to the referrer’s reputation’s score.
- Require facial or fingerprint identification.
With these numerous anti-ad-fraud checks and balances, 2key PPC SmartLinks shrink the number of fraudulent clicks to near zero.
As PPC SmartLinks already allow you to fully dictate the Cost per Click without relying on keyword bidding wars, you have full control of your PPC campaign budget, without any nasty surprises such as ad fraud budget drain or a sudden spike in click cost.
The results are impressive! The first PPC SmartLink campaign was launched by SparkPoint in May 2020 at a time when the product was brand new and with near-zero awareness of the system. Within four days of launching the SmartLink, SparPoint collected 30k preview - great for brand name recognition -, and 50% of the clicks were approved.
The remaining unapproved clicks were filtered out by 2key click filters and fraud prevention systems.
Brilliantly demonstrating the effectiveness of incentivized referral, the 1601 approved clicks translated into 800 signups. This incredible conversion rate is due primarily to 2keys’ efficient click filtering and directly impacts ROI. As the reward per click was set at $0.0735, this means that signup cost barely reached $0,15 apiece compared to an average $3.52 in 2018-2019.
This is how blockchain improves ROI on ads, by using a combination of advanced technology, intelligent human sharing, and efficient ad fraud filtering.
Now that 2key has enabled zero transaction fees for deployment on PPC SmartLinks, it is the perfect time to try it on!