What is Mobile Attribution and Why is There Fraud?
Let us get a few buzzwords out of the way: mobile attribution, attribution provider, MMP, attribution network – these all the same, or closely related. You may be new to attribution, however, you’re most likely advanced in the world of ad-fraud. Not because you have a forgotten PHD in bot farms, but because awareness and understanding of ad-fraud is very low. According to our reports, approximately 31% of all ad traffic is fraudulent. Why are we talking about Ad fraud, in a blog on attribution? Because the two are intrinsically linked. We’ll explain how!
What is an Attribution Provider?
An attribution provider is essentially a company that’s main service is to assign various behaviors (clicks, installs, etc) to the originating source (which sub-publisher, which ad-network, etc). Essentially, it is like an accountant, sorting through millions of clicks hourly, determining which advertiser, should pay to which ad-network/sub-publisher, and how much. An attribution provider can also be referred to as an MMP or an attribution network.
What is Mobile Attribution?
Mobile attribution simply refers to an attribution providers’ (explained above) attribution services. Mobile attribution can also be referred to as ad attribution, click attribution or a variety of other terms.
Now, How Does this Relate to Fraud!?
Attribution has a highly sensitive and important role in digital advertising. They not only allocate where your advertising spend goes but also process all of your advertising and user-data. As the attribution network is the all-important account-keeper, it is the obvious target for fraudulent attacks. These attacks come in two main forms: simulating real clicks and installs and stealing the attribution of genuine or organic install. Thus, fraudsters target attributions providers, making you pay for clicks and installs that never occurred, or perhaps pay to the wrong ad-network or sub-publisher, or pay for organic installs. On average, we estimate that 31% of your mobile ad budget will go to ad fraud.
Easy, MMPs will Block Fraudulent Activity!
It would be lovely, however, this is not the case. There are many different methods of fraud, most MMPs have not developed sufficient technology at catching the entire volume (amount) and breadth (different types) of ad fraud. Additionally, ad fraud is ever-evolving and some current forms are incredibly sophisticated.
If you’re just dipping your toe in the pond of digital advertising, in-app ads, mobile attribution or simply want to increase your digital ROAs, then investing in third-party ad fraud protection can not only protect a significant portion of your ad spend, but also be the bouncer to your app, rejecting fraudulent clicks and installs, and only letting in quality downloads.