Google announced that it has rolled out new defenses to protect advertisers against clickjacking, which it has identified as an emerging threat to CPC display ads.
Clickjacking is where the appearance of a site is changed so a victim doesn't realize they're taking an action like clicking an ad. A users could click on a play button or menu item which actually clicks on an invisible ad unit, for example.
"Earlier this year when our operations team identified Clickjacking activity on our display network, they moved swiftly to terminate accounts, removing entities involved in or attempting to use this technique to trick users," says Andres Ferrate, Chief Advocate of Ad Traffic Quality at Google. "Our engineering team worked in parallel to quickly release a filter to automatically exclude this type of invalid traffic across display ads."
"This approach delivered a one-two punch to publishers who violated our policies: our operations team, which forms an early line of defense against invalid traffic, cleaned out publishers from our ad systems, while engineers built a new filter as a durable defense to protect against Clickjacking traffic," he adds.
When Google detects a clickjacking attempt, it finds the traffic attributed to the ad placement and removes it from upcoming payment reports so advertisers are not charged for clicks.
Images via iStock, Google