Edgemesh, has announced a major feature upgrade to its Edgemesh Server – Ad Protect. The product identifies and protects brands against ad fraud and click fraud at the infrastructure-level. The company says it dramatically reduces retailers’ advertising budget losses due to ad fraud. The company’s solutions include an eCommerce acceleration platform that Edgemesh says delivers the fastest online experiences.
Digital ad fraud refers to the act of misrepresenting or purposely tampering with engagement metrics, drawing fraudulent traffic and impressions, affecting the click-through rates and revenue generation. Ad fraud is when adverts are paid for and published on fraudulent sites, or when impressions, clicks and installs are faked in efforts to exploit the mobile advertising technology system to generate fraudulent revenue.
Ad spend losses to fraud will reach $68 billion globally in 2022, up from $59 billion in 2021, according to Juniper Research. The US is expected to account for 35% of ad fraud losses this year, estimated to reach $23 billion. The Edgemesh approach to fighting ad fraud is combining real-time bot detection and IP reputation with machine learning to detect fraudulent clicks. and then tag these visitors for real-time exclusion from ad campaigns.
It analyses the network used (VPN, datacenter, etc.), combined with the history of users’ actions. Ad Protect automatically detects bots and users who are continually clicking on ads but not generating conversions. It keeps track of the ad-click rate per visitor, and once crossing a threshold, automatically tags that user and IP address. Edgemesh Server customers then integrate this tag with their ad platform to automatically exclude bad actors from future ad campaigns. This provides real-time adaptive campaign protection across any platform that supports retargeting including Google Adwords, Facebook, Criteo, Bing and TikTok.
Impact of ad fraud
Edgemesh’s own research found that a high volume of fraudulent clicks delivers zero revenue on online ad spend. As a result, across its eCommerce customers, the average daily loss exceeds $5,300 for Facebook Campaigns. $5,700 per day on Google, and thousands of dollars daily more across other platforms as well. So, on average, businesses using Ad Protect have the potential to save more than $180,000 per month on ad fraud just based on Facebook and Google campaigns.
“Edgemesh Server offers brands a comprehensive solution that both accelerates their online storefronts. Furthermore, it now helps to accelerate their business by protecting their ad budgets. Digital media buy is one of our customer’s largest costs. With Ad Protect we’re helping customers automatically defend that spend against bots, click farms and competitors. So they can put money behind ads that target real customers,” said Jake Loveless, CEO, Edgemesh.
Traditional software approach
Traditional software approaches which simply tag the browser and use a “ping check” to determine whether the interaction is from a real user or bot-based. Edgemesh says its Ad Protect works at the infrastructure-level. The solution examines user activity and requests to determine the legitimacy of the interaction with the brand’s website. Ad Protect monitors every request, header, SSL certificate, and the speed with which the visitor moves from page to page. It even checks the browser “fingerprint” to provide a highly effective way to detect malice and prevent ad fraud.
“We manage hundreds of thousands of dollars a month on traffic and engagement campaigns. We were astonished at how much bot traffic can skew performance,” said Abdul Alaa, CEO, Arcane Media. “We’ve implemented Edgemesh’s ad fraud solution across every brand and e-commerce store we manage. It has altered the way our clients think about their ad strategy and spend. Within a week, clients saw an average decrease in cost-per-lead of over 28%. The improvement in return on ad spend (ROAS) makes this one of the most valuable tools for agencies.”
Key solution components
Edgemesh Server’s ad fraud detection and prevention service includes the following components:
- Detection: Identifying costly clicks through automated clicking via bad bots or human-based repetitive clicks of ad links.
- Bot tagging and de-targeting: A core feature, bot tagging (BTAG) allows carving out exceptions to audiences, campaigns. The functionality display ads by leveraging the retargeting apparatus of ad platforms. By adding a single additional rule to audience definition, customers get real-time protection. This is done by utilising the ad platform’s own retargeting smarts to remove, de-target visitors who have displayed fraudulent behaviour.
- Ad waste detection: Automatically detects users who are continually clicking on your ads but not converting. Edgemesh Server keeps track of the ad-click rate per visitor, the IP reputation score and the engagement activity for every paid session. Once crossing a threshold, Edgemesh Server will tag that user and IP address as a bad actor. This allows the real-time detargetting system to then exclude them from future ad click opportunities.
Enterprise Times: What this means for business
Online ad fraud is a major issue for any brand trying to establish itself or protect its reputation. It was generally accepted that ad fraud and click fraud will waste 20% of PPC advertisers’ budgets in 2022. Furthermore, competitors and bots can click on your ads and waste your advertising budget. While it is not an entirely new phenomenon, it surely is an ongoing issue for the ad tech industry. It requires more attention considering the scale at which ad fraud is occurring in the inventories of advertisers and marketers. Programmatic advertising has become an essential tool for advertisers and publishers to stimulate automated marketing in the new digital era. As a result, ad fraud was almost inevitable, with professionals of all sizes at risk of running into a range of bad actors. There are a range of solutions in the marketplace which seek to combat this problem. However, Edgemesh Ad Protect works at the infrastructure-level to examine activities to determine the genuineness of the interaction with the brand’s website. This takes the protection activity to a higher level.