Global ad-fraud is a US$127bn issue that affects all businesses across Australia. This includes two-person startups and multinationals with 20,000 employees.

This is a problem that affects all online businesses. Fraudsters, competitors and bots are attacking online spending to their own benefit. TrafficGuard believes that companies should be more informed about their risks and the potential losses.

Anyone trying to reach their customers via digital channels may lose, on average 15-20% of their budget due to sophisticated online scams.

Ad fraud, whether it is bot-driven (or not), will have a negative impact on your bottom line both in terms of returns on advertising spend (ROAS) as well as customer acquisition costs (CAC). It can also create false trails, which could negatively impact future campaigns.

The size of the industry is a risk to SMEs

We know that SMEs employ more than half of the global workforce and account for 90% of all businesses. Small businesses are able to generate up to 80% of their revenue from digital advertising. With 94 percent of consumers conducting research online before purchasing and 35% using search engines as a digital shopping mall, ad fraud is a major factor in the success or failure of small business.

It is important to be able to detect all traffic types and to tackle them.

Five percent of all clicks you make could be fake

In 2021/22, digital ad spend soared as the world grappled with the Covid-19 epidemic. PPC was a major driver of this increase, as it is one of the most cost-effective, accessible and targeted forms of digital marketing, especially for SMEs.

Click fraud is a common form of fraud against PPC campaigns. It involves the use of bots or clicks farms, and false websites. This can lead to an increase in CAC and a decrease in ROAS, and can also give marketers a false impression of success, because they see a large number of clicks. They mistakenly believe that this means their campaign was successful.

Click fraud is attractive to bad actors because of the money that can be made. Winterberry Group reports predict that digital advertising spend will exceed half a billion dollars in 2023. Fraudulent players could lose an estimated US$100,000,000.

Marketing teams are forced to review and filter IP address manually and look for patterns or anomalies that may indicate fraud. This is often beyond their abilities.

The APAC region has a high risk of mobile advertising fraud, and it is estimated that $75 billion will be lost by 2022. Our research revealed that mobile ad scams fall into three main categories:

  • App install farms/SDK spoofing is at 42 percent
  • click injection – around 30 per cent
  • Click spam and ad stacked at 27.3%

Calculating your risk

We have created an industry-first calculator to help Australian businesses better understand the impact of this problem on their budgets. This calculator is suitable for all types of businesses, including e-commerce focused SMEs and enterprise-level companies with marketing expenditures of seven figures.

This unique calculator can be a valuable first step to determining the size of a problem. The calculator is based on our historical data and has four easy steps that can be completed within seconds. The calculator will ask for the main digital marketing channels that a company uses, as well as its industry, location and monthly spending. This allows it to give a very accurate estimate on how much money is being wasted.

Our advanced machine learning algorithms, which use big data analytics to analyse data in real time, identify anomalies and patterns, and differentiate between human and nonhuman traffic, help businesses improve their results and maximise budgets by eliminating the negative impact of ad-fraud and invalid traffic across all digital campaigns. This leads to a much healthier ROI.