How to Detect Sophisticated Invalid Traffic

Detect sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT) is a crucial step for publishers because it can put their ad revenue at risk. Invalid traffic not only increases costs for advertisers, but it also decreases the value of a publisher’s inventory. The good news is that there are some easy ways to spot it, including examining your Google Analytics, looking at unusual click patterns and checking out your IP address data for clues about what might be going on.

Invalid traffic is the result of non-human activity, and it can be broadly classified into two categories – general invalid traffic (GIVT) and sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT). GIVT generally self-identifies as being non-human traffic, such as search crawlers or traffic from known data centers linked to fraudulent activity. This type of traffic can be easily filtered out of campaigns and metrics.

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SIVT, on the other hand, is more difficult to spot and can be disguised as being legitimate traffic. This can include competitive traffic that’s clicking on ads, bots scraping for pricing information, and malicious users hiding behind proxies or VPNs.

Despite the fact that many of these types of traffic aren’t able to be detected, publishers should still be careful about working with shady partners or buying traffic. Purchasing traffic from sources that aren’t approved by Google can lead to an AdSense account suspension. If you’re thinking about selling your ad space, be sure to speak with trusted ad monetization companies that know the rules of detecting and stopping ad fraud traffic.