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These bots take hold when publishers pay third-party audience extension companies to artificially boost traffic numbers to meet impression goals. Although the third-party sources may not themselves deploy bots, these user acquisition companies often bring on additional fourth- and fifth-party sources, which can be breeding grounds for cybercriminals looking to inflate traffic numbers with malicious bots—and cash in on the clicks. As these networks expand, the likelihood for invalid traffic increases, as does the probability for disruptions in impression quality.
While simple bots are easier to detect, sophisticated bots closely mimic human behavior and generally require companies to employ advanced bot detection to detect them in a crowd.
Usually originating from data centers, general invalid traffic is created by simple bots that are not meant to be malicious and are easier to spot with basic bot detection solutions. There are a few different categories of GIVT:
Sophisticated and malicious bot activity that is intended to closely mirror human behavior, sophisticated invalid traffic comes from bots that are particularly good at evading detection. Ridding your traffic of SIVT requires advanced bot detection. There are a few different categories of SIVT:
Metrics are the guiding light for most advertising businesses, but one in particular may steer us wrong when it comes to ad fraud: that is, an advertiser’s SIVT percentage. While a dip may look encouraging, advertisers should put SIVT percentage in context by considering adjustments in campaign tactics and the sources of their invalid traffic. Ultimately, any amount of SIVT costs companies’ ad spend—so the ultimate goal should be to reduce fraud as much as possible, rather than attempt to live below an arbitrary benchmark. Understanding where SIVT comes from—and following IAB standards, such as app-ads.txt—can help companies move toward eliminating wasted spend.