Click Frauds and Mobile Devices - Neverending Love Story

Regularly among specialists new and new ideas are emerging, aimed at combating fraud in the mobile advertising market, the volume of which is measured in billions of US dollars.


  1. Today, the problem of fighting with a click fraud in the mobile segment is the subject of perpetual disputes and discussions among specialists. For now, experts agree with only one thing: it is hardly possible to win this battle. Scammers and unscrupulous competitors are inventing new and new patterns of click fraud in the mobile segment, and advertisers and platforms are powerless against their onslaught. Instead of spending energy on the fight against click frauds, some recommend using a few simple tips outlined below.

    Regularly among specialists new and new ideas are emerging, aimed at combating fraud in the mobile advertising market, the volume of which is measured in billions of US dollars.

    Representatives of advertising platforms can only struggle with click fraud with the help of modern technical methods, investing in software solutions and technologies.

    In turn, advertisers insistently demand that agencies and websites provide them with detailed reports on invalid clicks. Such a position on the part of customers causes a lot of problems.

    In fact, the situation today is the following: to fight with click fraud in mobile advertising means wasting time and budgets. Why? The answer is simple: regular work to identify and combat such tools is one of the everyday tasks of any experienced "cheater" of advertising clicks.

    All that can be done to combat click frauds when buying ads on the CPC model is to redirect users to special stub pages and only then directly to the mobile application or to the appropriate landing page in the full mobile version of the site. The fact is that the principles of cheating clicks in the traditional web only partially coincide with the approaches to cheating in the mobile Internet. Although, external signs of fraudulent behavior, nevertheless, coincide.

  2. Special programs simulate clicks on the advertisement of application and even the actions for their installation on mobile devices of users. The fundamental difference here is only one thing: traditional Internet provides website owners with much more tools, metrics and detailed reports that allow identifying fraudulent clicks on advertising. Modern browsers allow you to monitor behavior of real users, significantly reducing the likelihood of errors in interpretation of the results.

    In practice, with a well-tuned analyst, a website owner can track the user's path in all details from displaying an advertising message before making a conversion. This is achieved by tracking the behavior of users using special JavaScript codes, as well as using cookies. Those who wish can also use other tools for a much more detailed tracking of the visitors behavior, who have moved to the site from a link from an advertisement.

    However, in the world of mobile applications, everything is not so simple. The possibilities of using cookies and codes on JavaScript on the mobile Internet are very limited. The advertiser does not have the opportunity to analyze in detail clicks on the ad, except for the actual calculation of number of calls to the HTTP server and research of data in these requests. Individual ad networks provide fragmented data about fraudulent clicks on the ad, but they are not able to prevent this phenomenon.

    Due to the fact that HTTP requests and data contained in them can not be considered reliable, the advertiser never has confidence that clicks on the announcement of mobile advertising were actually organic and were made by real users of mobile devices.

  3. The only thing scammers can not do is to forge IP addresses, therefore, when analyzing statistics, it is important to pay attention to frequently repeated IP-addresses. However, this problem is solved by attracting real users in almost legitimate ways. Namely due to the creation of various deceptive applications.
    Have you ever wondered why developers are creating in huge quantities applications to save battery power of mobile devices or applications such as a "pocket flashlight"? All of them contain built-in advertising, clicks on which the user can perform without even knowing about it. (To find out more, click TEA Software.)

    This click will look, as completely natural, from the existing IP address, accomplished by the real user of the mobile device. Such clicks can not be detected and filtered with the help of special tools, and the problem itself is gaining momentum today.

    Nevertheless, situation must be controlled. To do this a special approach will help, called "distribution modeling". The essence of the approach is as follows: analyzing data based on the results of launching, it is important to set the rules of attribution so that advertiser has opportunity to analyze the user's path. However, this method will not allow 100% detection of click fraud, nor will it provide an opportunity to assess the true effectiveness of a mobile advertising campaign with pay per click.

    So, what does all this mean in practice? A few elementary rules when launching mobile CPC-campaigns will allow reducing the risk of click fraud at times.
  4. Do not leave advertising campaigns constantly active.

    It makes sense to stop the mobile CPC campaign as soon as the average download rate of application starts to decline. Particular caution is the situation when the number of transitions to application page is several times less than the number of clicks. In all such situations, the likelihood of cloning can be extremely high.

    It is always necessary to take into account and carefully analyze the slightest changes in statistics.

    A typical indicator of organic transitions and conversions presence is the situation when with an increasing cost per click conversion rate stably increases. If such balance is broken, one should question the naturalness of clicks and installations. Perhaps there was a wrap-around.

    It is important to develop very stringent criteria for estimating incoming traffic.

    At the stage of developing an advertising strategy, it is important to develop clear KPIs for each advertising campaign, determine which users of which mobile platforms and which countries or regions will target the advertising campaign. In the next stage, it is important to filter out all indicators that are not suitable for the criteria developed for the campaigns, for example, exclude clicks from anonymous IP addresses from the summary statistics. At the stage of the indicator analysis, it is important to identify all the problem areas identified after the campaign launch, recheck the indicators and, without fail, take all these factors into account when launching the next campaign.

    The favorite opinion of Internet marketers that the mobile segment is significantly different from the desktop - still remain not just empty words. Technologies, techniques and approaches to identifying click-fraud in advertising, used for the desktop segment, are still too different from the principles of survival in the mobile advertising market. At the same time, it is important for advertisers, platforms and partner platforms not to stop at what has been achieved and, together, to seek methods to combat false clicks.