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Yevgeny Peres is the VP Growth at ironSource.
In recent years, mobile ad fraud has become an industry-wide issue which affects every advertiser – their budgets, their reputation, and mainly their effectiveness in achieving sustainable growth. That’s why we’re excited to announce that ironSource has been named a Top 20 Secure Ad Network by Singular. Singular, a leading marketing analytics solution, has deemed our network capable of driving significant volume to marketers while still keeping minimal fraud rates well below the industry average.
How we fight fraud at ironSource
At ironSource, we take our anti-fraud efforts seriously. In 2015 we established a dedicated fraud prevention team – a task force including data scientists, analysts, product managers, developers, and BI engineers, who together analyze anomalies, research the various types of fraud, and develop filters and viewability tools that block fraudulent publishers from onboarding into our network by monitoring and then validating the ad request, the video view, and then click through the conversion and post-install events.
The task force has helped update security and viewability validation rules for our SDK, radically improving and securing the publisher onboarding process for our network. But their duties aren’t limited to the ironSource network. The task force also developed a solution that is able to detect when our advertisers are buying fraudulent media on other channels outside our network. The goal here is to help advertisers avoid attribution manipulation across all their user acquisition sources. Our research shows that attribution manipulation is by far the most pervasive type of fraud, resulting in massive organic cannibalization and harms the performance and growth of the legitimate channels.
By monitoring all the supply sources we work with, and the behavior of the advertiser’s campaign across all channels, we can make sure that fraudulent publishers aren’t taking credit for installs driven by honest publishers, and that our publishers get paid as they should.
The ironSource task force openly shares all our findings with advertisers, publishers, attribution companies, and platforms. This includes research, instances of fraud, new solutions, and more. We believe the only way to effectively fight fraud and put an end to fraudulent activity is to be completely transparent and collaborative.
It’s up to the network
According to Singular, “third-party analytics providers treat fraud prevention as a luxury, offering it to marketers as a premium add-on,” and 63% of marketers don’t even utilize fraud prevention techniques in their mobile marketing systems, meaning they don’t partner with anti-fraud companies or purchase the ‘premium add-on’ their analytics providers offer. That’s a staggering figure, but it’s also exactly why we believe that networks have to take on the onus for rooting out fraud and cutting it off at the source.
As one of the biggest mobile video ad networks, it’s our responsibility to ensure our inventory is fraud-free. This is why, for example, we meticulously vet and monitor publishers on our network for fraudulent behavior, and also make sure that the other channels the advertisers work with aren’t committing fraud or attribution manipulation. It’s important for us to fight fraud outside our network to make sure that our advertisers aren’t being manipulated by fraudulent publishers, and that honest publishers that monetize with video ads get the ad revenue they deserve.
This validation by Singular as a Top 20 Secure Mobile Ad Network shows that we are doing something right. We’re very proud, but fraud is an ongoing issue which requires constant vigilance. We will continue our research to improve our fraud prevention solution, sharing our research findings and knowledge with advertisers and publishers, and work closely with platforms and attribution companies to make sure mobile ad fraud becomes a thing of the past.