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Paul Zimmerman

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Google Cracking Down on Advertising Fraud

Google is cracking down on domains that falsely represent advertising inventory with its Ad Traffic Quality Team, currently showcasing a filtering tool—DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM)—that detects when publishers are trying to trick advertisers.

The false representation of domains in ad inventory occurs when publishers intentionally make it look like their traffic is coming from another website (usually a well-known, premium website) in order to charge higher rates for ads. Google's chief advocate for ad traffic quality, Andres Ferrate, explained how this impacts all sides of the industry: "This practice deceives advertisers who end up paying to appear on sites with which they may not want to be associated, and harms legitimate publishers, who aren't actually receiving the funds from ads sold in their name."

Overall, the U.S. digital advertising industry loses $8.2 billion a year from fraudulent impressions, infringed content, and costs associated with malvertising, according to a new report commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), conducted by Ernst & Young (EY). Further, more than half the money wasted in the digital advertising ecosystem comes from non-human traffic—fake advertising impressions that are neither generated by real advertisers nor received by actual consumers. Eliminating these fraudulent impressions would save advertisers more than $4 billion annually, according to the IAB report.

This article is not offered as, and should not be relied on as, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice in specific situations.