Detecting affiliate bot traffic is critical to ad performance and brand reputation. It can also help you reclaim lost revenue and protect against fraud.
Some bots are useful and helpful, while others can be disruptive. Understanding the difference between beneficial and malicious bots can help you avoid these types of issues in the future.
Bots are automated programs that interact with websites, apps, and digital assistants like Siri or Alexa. They can perform repetitive tasks, such as ad clicks or copying text, which can be beneficial to some companies.
Bad bots can cause harm by sending unwanted traffic to your site, stealing affiliate commissions, and damaging your brand’s reputation. They can even result in your website being de-ranked by search engines, such as Google.
A few steps can help you detect affiliate bot traffic, including reviewing traffic metrics and tracking time-to-conversions. By keeping these steps in mind, you can ensure that your ad dollars and sales revenue are authentic, valid, and profitable.
Anti-Fraud Metrics That Can Alert You to Bot Traffic
Some ad networks and advertisers are big fans of affiliate marketing, but they also understand that sending lots of free traffic may not be a good thing for their campaigns. That’s why they do their best to vet their publishers and remove those that show signs of bot activity.
If you see high traffic from countries you don’t normally see in your traffic source reports, or if you see a lot of visitors from a certain region that has been known to have a lot of bots, it’s a sign of fraudulent traffic. If this is a problem for your business, consider excluding this region from your traffic sources.
When analyzing your traffic, make sure to monitor all incoming user agents and device types. You should also look at your bounce rate and average session duration to determine if these factors are likely to be related to bot traffic.
You can also look at the Postback URLs and server requests for your advertiser’s offers to see if there are multiple IP addresses associated with these requests. This could indicate ad fraud and should be reported to your advertiser immediately.
Tracking Time-to-Conversion Thresholds
Everflow allows you to set time-to-conversion thresholds that can trigger your system to reject any conversions that happen within a specified amount of time after the click. These can be as short as 30 seconds and, when combined with other metrics, can give you a clear indication of affiliate bot traffic.
Keep a Record of Where the Fraud Comes From
A great way to identify and address bot traffic is to collect proof of where it comes from and trace it back to the source. By keeping this information, you can easily confront any perpetrators of ad fraud and reclaim some of the money that has been lost due to fraud.
Detecting affiliate bot traffic should be a part of your daily routine, just as you would verify profitability of ads or offers or test new angles. Having a reliable tool to do so, such as Voluum, can keep the spread of bot traffic at bay and help you reclaim lost money spent on fraudulent traffic.