Free Guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Download the Playbook
Fill out the form to get your playbook
Thank you! You have been subscribed.
Close
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Free Guide:

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
Read the Playbook
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
Free Inbound Marketing Playbook
View The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Free Guide:

Take your inbound strategy to the next level

  • Master the 7 principles of highly effective inbound marketing
  • Dramatically improve your inbound sales
  • Get more buy-in at your company

Android Advertisers Beware -- You Could Have Been Schemed

By Kaitlyn Petro

Kaitlyn Petro also recommends this free guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022.

Android Advertisers Beware -- You Could Have Been Schemed

As digital marketers, we’re constantly obsessing over the security of our websites, assets, and reputations -- and for good reason.

Today, the world is far more connected and involved than ever before, which only means more risk of facing negative cyber events such as fraud, theft, and property damage.

Free Guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Such was the case with the recent discovery of an ad fraud scandal involving Android and its billions of users -- including children -- through an investigation led by Buzzfeed News.

Millions of Dollars Were Stolen through Everyday Apps...and We Didn’t Even Know It

For at least the past year and a half (and quite possibly earlier), over 100 Android apps and websites connected to the Google Play store have been purchased in order to steal close to an estimated $10 million from advertisers who used placed ads within them.

But why Android?

Experts say it’s because of its large user base and because the Google Play store’s app review process isn’t as scrupulous as Apple’s.

A non-verified company, We Purchase Apps, along with fraudsters working for or with them (i.e. Fly Apps, a Maltese company with multiple connections to the scheme) have been in contact with the previous owners of these apps with a sole goal of wanting to purchase them.

Here’s how they did it:

Companies involved in the fraud sought out apps to purchase that had a large user base and positive reviews. Once the business deal was complete, the apps continued to be maintained in order to keep real users happy.

The fraudsters then studied the behavior of the human users of those apps and created bots, or automated computer programs, to mimic their actions. They were then loaded onto servers that enabled them to generate “fake traffic” within certain apps through specialized software.

For websites specifically, the bots were able to visit them using virtual web browsers that essentially present the traffic as real, human visits.

Since the real traffic and fake traffic look almost exactly the same, the combination of humans with bots was able to go undetected by security systems.

As a result, a large number of ad views were generated, which translated into revenue: the ultimate goal of the scheme.

Some Facts & Statistics

To show just how detrimental this process was, here are a few notes provided by organizations involved in the investigation.

  • In total, the apps identified by BuzzFeed News have been installed on Android phones more than 115 million times, according to data from analytics service AppBrain.
  • App metrics firm, AppsFlyer, estimated that between $700 million and $800 million was stolen from mobile apps alone in the first quarter of this year, a 30% increase over the previous year.
  • Pixalate’s latest analysis of in-app fraud found that 23% of all ad impressions in mobile apps are in some way fraudulent.
  • Overall, Juniper Research estimates $19 billion will be stolen this year by digital ad fraudsters, but others believe the actual figure could be three times that.

Now What?

Before Buzzfeed News alerted Google of its investigation, Google received a list of apps and websites connected to the scheme.

They did some further research and found that dozens of apps use its mobile advertising network. In response, Google has removed more than 30 apps from their store and deleted a number of multiple publisher accounts with its ad networks.

Google now continues to investigate. This blog post published by the company digs deeper into its findings.

Chances are, you’re not using mobile apps to position your ads in front of potential audiences. We’re more in tune with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Adwords. But if you are, it goes without saying that you want to make sure you’re vetting your platforms carefully. 

If you’re an Android user, or you have children who use any of the apps or websites listed here, there’s no real security risk for you to deal with,  but just know that your behavior could have unknowingly been used to fuel one of the biggest ad fraud scandals in history.

As digital companies, we need to continue to practice safe online behaviors with anything we do. If there’s one thing we can learn from this scheme, it’s that fraud is more prevalent than ever in the digital world, and the industry struggle to stop it remains apparent.

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Free Guide:

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Take your inbound strategy to the next level

  • Master the 7 principles of highly effective inbound marketing
  • Dramatically improve your inbound sales
  • Get more buy-in at your company

Topics:

Marketing Strategy
Published on October 29, 2018

Recent Articles

Why Trust Is the True Currency for All Business
September 5, 2022 • 7 min read
The Big 5: Best Business Blog Topics to Drive Traffic, Leads, and Sales
August 29, 2022 • 10 min read
What is a Content Strategy? (Definition + Templates)
August 25, 2022 • 12 min read
10 Marketing Objective Examples To Guide and Focus Your Strategy
August 18, 2022 • 6 min read
What Marketers Need To Know About Switching to GA4 [Google Analytics 4]
July 30, 2022 • 5 min read
Inbound Marketing Benefits Explained (Updated for 2022)
July 28, 2022 • 6 min read
How To Inspire Your Marketing Team To Try New Ideas
July 25, 2022 • 5 min read
Do I Need To Invest in Marketing When My Business is Thriving? (+ Video)
July 21, 2022 • 7 min read
How Much Does It Cost To Become a World-class They Ask, You Answer Case Study?
July 16, 2022 • 12 min read
4 Ways To Recession-proof Your Website In 2022
June 9, 2022 • 5 min read
Demand Generation vs. Lead Generation: What’s the Difference?
June 6, 2022 • 5 min read
What Small Business Leaders Need To Know to Thrive During a Recession
May 23, 2022 • 7 min read
Blog Editorial Calendar for 2022: Templates, Examples, and Tips
May 21, 2022 • 6 min read
Green Energy Inbound Marketing Strategy: The DIY Approach to Getting More Customers
May 7, 2022 • 9 min read
HubSpot Pricing: Your Guide to Everything HubSpot Costs for 2022
April 29, 2022 • 13 min read
33 Most Important IMPACT+ Resources To Train Your Marketing Team in 2022
April 26, 2022 • 13 min read
SaaS Inbound Marketing: How to Get Started With Your Strategy (+ Examples)
April 16, 2022 • 9 min read
5 Revenue Metrics You Should Be Measuring
March 29, 2022 • 6 min read
What Short-Term Wins Can We Expect With They Ask, You Answer?
March 15, 2022 • 6 min read
19 Business Blog Topics Your Audience Wants You To Write About
March 14, 2022 • 12 min read
10 Marketing KPIs You Should Be Tracking
March 3, 2022 • 9 min read
Why Does They Ask, You Answer Actually Get Results?
February 24, 2022 • 5 min read
Inbound Marketing for Financial Services Providers and Financial Advisors (+ examples)
February 19, 2022 • 10 min read
Sales vs Marketing in 2022: What’s The Difference?
February 7, 2022 • 7 min read
How To Set Marketing Goals Based on Business Goals
February 1, 2022 • 6 min read