Is Your App Safe from Mobile Ad Fraud?
What is Redirection Path?
The redirection path is the journey a mobile user takes when they click on a mobile advertisement from an in-app placement through to the App Store. In an ideal world, a mobile user is redirected to the store over a single hop which is the ad network that the advertiser is working with.
Ad networks or affiliates share advertisers’ placements with other parties to reach as many publishers as possible hoping to deliver more traffic. The original ad placement is typically rebrokered by multiple ad networks and affiliates resulting in a longer user journey from the click of the mobile ad.
The other issue with redirection is that the original bid is decreased each time an ad network rebrokers the campaign, hence lower quality traffic at the end of the redirection funnel.
The risks involved?
There are risks associated with using a high number of stations and there being so many redirections in the path. Let’s look at these risks in more detail:
You have a right to know which publishers show your ad in their placements and whom you are working with. However, if you don’t know the stations in the path you cannot be certain that your ad will appear where you want it to appear i.e. in a brand safe environment.
Although you are running campaigns with reasonable bids, it is possible to see networks which are able to get incent traffic with smallest bids to generate more profit.
If your link is subject to a high number of redirections in the path it means many parties are involved in sending traffic to your campaign. Bearing in mind how opportunistic fraudsters are multi redirections gives them more opportunities to hijack the campaign.
Disturbing User Experience
Sometimes, an ad with your creatives can be redirected to another app in the store, to an unrelated webpage, or to nowhere. Even though you will not be wasting money in that case, you will be wasting for brand image.
Sometimes, a party can serve your ad at a higher price than you are paying for them. This means that, even though you will be paying fully to them, they will not pay some of the traffic they bought for you by not postbacking which may destroy your app’s reputation.