Domain spoofing has been one of the major problem that Ad industry has faced, this has been prevailing for many years now. The conversations surrounding the topic re-surfaced in late 2016 and again in late 2017 after two separate reports exposed how the how the ad industry was possibly losing millions each day to Bot views. These reports unearthed two scams namely, Methbot and Hyphbot that use a network of bots (computer generated users) to generate fake views to ads. This practise is referred as Domain Spoofing.Domain Spoofing is not limited to the idea of faked domains, but it is more than that. As suggested in the WhiteOps report, the modus operandi looks something like this.
People behind the scan of Methbot operation, started it by creating thousands of websites that appeared to belong to famous publishers from United States, they then automated programmatic exchanges to sell video ads on those fake sites, following which they directed bots to “view” those ads and eventually collecting the money advertisers paid for those clicks. It is like how the Movie Industry lose out to privacy. Every year, the ad industry is losing out many million dollars to the fraud advertisers. This is how they made it happen: just like a legitimate publisher, a fake publisher website lists their website inventories available for sale through a network or a middleman. While most ad exchanges have the technology to weed out requests from these type of websites, the ad network changes are the inventory is presented to it in a different way. And this is exactly how marketers are made to believe that the ad space is on a legitimate site, however in reality, ads are merely running on websites that are catering to traffic by bots. Brands and agencies on various incidences end up pointing finger on ad tech team and that makes it harder to catch the reprehensible behaviours. Major complexity exists due to presence of multiple players in the delivery system, this is what makes anyone in supply chain to push the blame of responsibility on other party.
Domain Spoofing hurt all stakeholders in supply chain, and particularly publishers and advertisers. Advertisers spend millions of dollars of their ad budget to showcase the ads in front of bots on low quality site, while a trustworthy publisher never receives the bit and looses on potential revenue. While tackling these issues is an unnerving task and one that needs unfettered efforts. Vertoz is aware and has implemented the constant vigilance required to succeed in our quickly evolving landscape. Therefore, Vertoz provides its users with a self- serve platform through which you can monitor the campaigns and its properties.
Plus, with an advanced control panel where you can check your real-time data, reports, and you can get updates regarding your revenue. It is easier to track, manage and control performance. Also, as a member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Vertoz is proud to be amongst the few ad exchanges globally having implemented the ads.txt project on our platform, this is in a view to make it difficult for fraudulent sellers to sell fake inventory across ad exchanges. All members of supply chain would have to work together to week out domain spoofing and similar malpractices and hence all advertisers (Brands & Agencies) must be watchful of before engaging in business with any DSP’s.