Always Fighting Fraud

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A ring with balls moving toward the center

Cleaning up the

Fraud is an inescapable part of advertising.

All Yahoo ad platforms take an aggressive approach to cleaning up the ad ecosystem and protecting our advertisers and publishers from fraud and malware.

Casting a critical eye on supply

There are several checks that a potential publisher needs to pass before they’re approved to sell their supply on our Exchange.

We work to make sure a publisher:

  • Meets our ad policy guidelines

  • Has properly set up their ads.txt and app-ads.txt files

  • Are who they say they are

  • Doesn’t feature prohibited content

  • Isn’t passing any Children’s Online Privacy Protection Action (COPPA) inventory

This vetting process is our first line of defense that protects our buyers by ensuring our supply partners meet our brand safety guidelines and sets a base level of transparency.

Fighting fraud

Even legitimate supply can be susceptible to fraud.

Yahoo protects advertisers using our anti-fraud technology, TalonPro, and through partnerships with leading third-party filtration and verification companies like HUMAN.

What do we protect our buyers from?

  • General Invalid Traffic (GIVT)

    GIVT consists of “normal” bot activity like search engine crawlers and any unusual activity that’s easy to identify as non-human, like a bot that reloads a page every 5 seconds.

  • Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT)

    SIVT is more complex and represents schemes where fraudsters try to mask their activity through tactics like hijacking browsers and devices, spoofing sites and apps, and more.

  • Adware and malware

    Adware and malware can be a subset of SIVT attacks but are especially malicious, because they affect advertisers, publishers and the end user.

Moving beyond

Using performance metrics as validation

Advertisers are re-examining how they look at performance metrics as an evolution of ad verification. At Yahoo Ad Tech, our suite of measurement solutions use our logged-in, first-party data signals, and work with third-party partners, so you’re able to use real actions such as search and purchases to validate audiences, optimize against harmful supply and optimize performance.

Colorful rolls of ribbons

There is little doubt fraud is an issue throughout the industry. And dealing with it is getting more complex, as the number of buying environments has increased. If we want to protect buyers and sellers better, we need to cut down the complexity through a two-factor approach. We need to ensure supply chain transparency and map any seller identifiers coming from various platforms to real-world companies/properties. And we need to ensure that technical fraud defenses are based upon robust on-device signal collection at the time of a paid-for event.

Ellie Windle

For the industry to move forward, it must take transparency seriously. While there’s been progress, there is still more we need to do. The fact that some publishers don’t validate ads.txt lines before adding them to their files means companies can send them lines that contain unauthorized resellers and thereby commit fraud. We would love for publishers to regain control over who is selling their inventory, asking their partners difficult questions, and not allowing fraudsters to mislead them. Everyone is losing from this, and only the fraudsters are winning.

Maayan Segal