ShieldSquare is now Radware Bot Manager

ShieldSquare is now Radware Bot Manager

Invalid Traffic Misclassification Causes Loss Of Opportunities For Publishers: Radware Bot Manager Research

July 19, 2018 | Automated Threats Radware Research

As a publisher, you invest in producing high-quality content and building a community of highly-engaged users. Your traffic analytics indicate that you have highly active commercial users with longer than average session times. In addition, your publication relies on monetizing your user base with display advertisements to generate revenue.

However, your demand for a premium price on ad inventory hits a snag when your advertisers claim that they are receiving invalid traffic on their ads, based on traffic reports from ad verification vendors. These claims put you in a disadvantageous position when it comes to negotiating ad placement pricing with them.

While analyzing traffic reports from premium publishers, we learned that a significant number of users with distinctive usage patterns are miscategorized as invalid traffic by various ad verification vendors on digital publishing sites. These users exhibit unique behavior patterns such as browsing through IPs located in data centers, long session durations, and use of outdated browsers, to name a few key characteristics.

Traffic reports from such vendors also lack transparency about the methodologies they use. These vendors claim that opacity is required to stop fraudsters from reverse-engineering their solution.

To find out why ad verification vendors erroneously miscategorize highly-active genuine users as invalid traffic on publishing sites, we studied user engagement patterns on a premium financial portal from the US, and 300 other publishing sites from disparate industry segments such as news, content portals, classifieds, online forums, and marketplaces. Download the report.

Our research finds that users of publishing sites with live content spend more time tracking live information such as market news and stock prices. Your efforts to building premium ad inventory can face obstacles if the distinctive behavior of your users is not taken into account. If invalid traffic detection techniques are not fine-tuned to consider unique cases of user behavior — it can result in false positives. In this study, we have highlighted how ad verification vendors categorize genuine users as invalid.

With this comparative assessment, we uncovered how users’ behavior, their intent, and their organizations’ internet infrastructure could impact invalid traffic classification. Download the report to learn more.

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