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How To Fight Push Ad Fraud

How To Fight Push Ad Fraud

Ad fraud is a widespread problem across all digital advertising and in the push ad industry no less. According to juniper research, 42 billion dollars was the forecasted amount digital advertisers will lose to fraudulent activities through online, mobile, and in-app advertising in 2019. That said you can already see the importance of preventing ad fraud, but before we look at how we do that, let’s first go over what is ad fraud.

What is ad fraud in digital marketing

Ad fraud refers to any form of malicious activity to fake online traffic in an attempt to profit from advertisers. This fake online traffic is used to generate invalid clicks, conversions, and impressions which fraudsters use to try and sell this traffic.  Although fraud has spread into almost all sectors of advertising it is most associated with banner ads.  

Types of Ad fraud

Fraud in marketing is ever-changing and often takes many forms. There are many types but here are some of the most common types of ad fraud.

Bot traffic: Using computers or bots to replicate user behavior to generate fake clicks, conversions, and installs.

Fallacious traffic: This is defined as traffic that is being sold as something it is not.  This can be anything from misrepresenting traffic to fit new targeting or to fit new ad types entirely. This is the most common type of fraud in push ads.

Hidden ads: When an ad is displayed in such a way the user doesn’t actually see it. This is common when the traffic is being sold by impression.

Ad fraud detection

There are various ways to detect ad fraud but all of them boil down to detecting abnormal patterns. To do this you must record a comprehensive set of data points from each visit. This includes everything from screen size, keyboard layout, on-page behavior, and much more. After capturing this data, it must be analyzed against the expected norm to identify whether the visit is real or not.

Ad fraud in push

Push ads just like most other forms of digital advertising has some occurrences of fraud, but luckily it deals with a lot less than most.  The principal reason for this is that the subscription model of push ads makes it impractical and technically difficult for bots to subscribe to receive the ads. Unfortunately, fraudsters don’t just stop here. Our fraud-fighting partners Opticks Security found that the most common form of fraud in push is from fallacious traffic.  In other words non-push traffic being sold as push traffic.

How we fight fraud at Pushground

At Pushground, we implement two main strategies to tackle ad fraud.  A strict vetting process for new traffic sources and implementing Opticks anti-fraud solutions.  Each one performed correctly should be a significant deterrent of fraud, but together that makes it almost impossible for fraud to appear on our network and helps us guarantee our traffic quality.

A strict vetting process for new traffic sources

As you may have noticed, here at Pushground we do not offer a visible publisher side where one can sign up to monetize their traffic.  This is deliberate to help us be more exclusive and selective of the new traffic sources that we connect to. Our onboarding process compared to other traffic sources is much stricter requiring verified word of mouth referral and extensive in-house testing. This stern vetting process helps us to filter out low quality and fraudulent sources before they can ever join with Pushground.

Opticks integrated anti-fraud solutions

Furthermore, at Pushground we also use Opticks anti-fraud solutions to analyze all our traffic for any suspicious activity.  Opticks is a leader in the anti-fraud space and incorporates rules-based detection of proprietary fingerprinting, statistical analysis along with their machine-learning algorithms to help detect and prevent fraudulent traffic. By partnering with them, we can ensure the quality of our traffic and the integrity of your campaigns.


As digital advertising continues to grow and expand, so will ad fraud. To stay ahead of the curve, it’s vital that we stay vigilant against it. The integrity of our traffic is our priority, and we ensure this by using cutting-edge technology and trustful partner. Bottom line we work hard to fight and tackle ad fraud so you don’t have to.

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