Ad Ethics

Is Your Ad Being Seen by a Human? A look at Viewability and Ad Fraud

By October 4, 2017 January 18th, 2018 No Comments

At Coegi, data matters. With strong data retention policies, Coegi has been diligently collecting performance information since the company’s founding in 2014. Coegi is able to use this data to inform specialists on what levers to pull in order to exceed industry benchmarks, even when compared to publisher direct buys, in two key categories: viewability and ad fraud.

WHAT IS VIEWABILITY?
Viewability is the answer to the question “Did a user actually see my ad?” Unlike many traditional media methods, programmatic is able to leverage javascript to verify the ad actually was shown to the user and remained in-view for at least one second.

WHAT IS AD FRAUD?
Ad Fraud comes in many shapes and forms; however, in simple terms it exists because people have found ways to exploit the digital ad environment for profit. It can take the form of posing as a website (see Methbot POV here) or of sophisticated bots that mimic web browsing history of high value users (in market/high click/retargeting).

WHAT IS COEGI DOING TO INCREASE VIEWABILITY AND REDUCE THE NUMBER OF FRAUDULENT IMPRESSIONS SERVED?
Coegi is leveraging powerful partnerships with both Integral Ad Sciences and WhiteOps to inform a pre-bid and post bid analysis. Coegi can filter out potentially fraudulent impressions from the bidding process in order to reduce the number of fraudulent impressions we deem “unacceptable to bid on”. On the flip side, Coegi also tracks all impressions won, and through post bid data analysis provides superior performance by learning from past results and implementing best practices. With our partnerships we are able to track which websites are delivering an excess of fraudulent impressions and blacklist them on a weekly and even daily basis to limit exposure to fraud. In addition, we are able to identify those users who have been identified as bots from all programmatic campaigns. With these practices we are seeing under 1% ad fraud in all running campaigns which exceeds the IAS benchmark for publisher direct campaigns being tracked for bot traffic.

Similarly to fraud, Coegi is a leader in taking a strong stance on viewability. Fraudulent impressions are typically not the most viewable, so it is even more important that we continue to push for higher viewability standards. Not only do we reduce fraud, but having highly viewable impressions in front of a verified human user provide a strong branding message and helps drive performance and campaign KPI’s. On all campaigns at Coegi we are ingesting performance stats for more than 150,000 websites to guide our bidding decisions.

Using this historic data Coegi is able to determine the likelihood an ad being viewed before the auction for the ad spot even occurs. In addition, the platforms we use have strong capabilities to reach aggressive viewability targets. At this time all campaigns running across our programmatic portfolio have a viewability of 66% which is exceeding the latest IAS benchmark of 51.7% for programmatic buys by over 27% and even 9% higher than the publisher direct benchmark.

WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN?
Unlike many programmatic vendors Coegi is built on a transparent partnership. This means acknowledging the issues in the industry and taking proactive solutions. Many programmatic vendors can reach whatever benchmark you are looking to hit, but few of those vendors take a holistic approach that looks at more than just generating clicks – which can be generated by humans or bots. Agencies and advertisers that work with Coegi can be confident that their ads are being seen by real humans which is vital to the long term success of a brand.

Author: Jacob Amann, Programmatic Manager @ Coegi

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