In our digital world, ad fraud leads to some eye-watering statistics. Try this one: According to a study by the University of Baltimore, this type of fraud costs businesses around $35 billion a year. You read it right.
But how does it work?
If we look at the most common type of fraud, PPC fraud, it is pretty straightforward: Essentially, website owners enlist the aid of a bot to click ads on their sites. Every time there is a click, the site owner gets paid. Yes, that is stealing. Plain and simple.
Fortunately, some of the more high-profile ad platforms, such as Google, have the technology to detect click fraud. But it is by no means an airtight solution. Despite having excellent anti-fraud measures in place, hackers will always find ways around the detection algorithms.
The bottom line: The broader your targeting and higher your spend, the bigger the chance that some of your budgets are going to the fraudsters. This means that you’re simply going to have to make provision for that click fraud in your ad budget.