Online Traffic Fraud
Understanding Online Traffic Fraud

View leadership and participants here.

The Traffic of Good Intent task force's mission is to identify, understand and raise awareness of the issue of non-intentional traffic, and to offer insight and recommended solutions to the digital advertising industry.

Non-intentional traffic is visits to publishers which occur without the knowledge of a user, or driven by non-human actors. It can be initiated by human actions, or fully controlled by a bot that has infected a personal computer. There are two primary types of non-intentional traffic. In one, users are automatically redirected to particular websites after closing another website. In the other, content (ads and/or full websites) invisibly load in the background (often in a 1x1 pixel) while a user is intentionally viewing content from other sites. This traffic pollutes the display advertising ecosystem and thwarts most efforts to accurately measure the medium for effectiveness.

The perpetrators of non-intentional traffic generally have two main objectives. First, to generate huge volumes of pageviews, producing ad inventory they can sell on advertising exchanges. Second, botnets produce their own "conversion" events by simulating clicks on those invisible ads and/or hijacking the infected browser to record a "visit" to the sites of marketers whose ads have been invisibly run, sometimes going so far as to produce a "lead" (e.g., a visit to a store locator page). The effect is to increase the perceived value of those infected browser to both marketers and targeters.

To more effectively address the negative impacts described above, the entire digital advertising industry needs to better understand the nature and sources of non-intentional traffic. Doing so will simultaneously increase the friction and therefore cost for bad actors engaged in the use of non-intentional traffic and increase the accuracy of measurement for Traffic of Good Intent.

Scott Cunningham, Senior Vice President, Product, Federated Media on discusses online advertising fraud at the IAB Traffic of Good Intent Task Force's goals, definitions and next steps.

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Traffic Fraud

Traffic of Good Intent Co-chairs

John Battelle

John Battelle
Founder and Executive Chairman
Federated Media

Penry Price

Tom Philips