Cybersecurity

The Fake Web: Why It’s Such a Big Deal to Marketers

We have been hearing about fake news for the better part of five or six years. A lot of people are concerned about being duped by fake new stories and outlets. But what about the fake web? Have you heard about it? And do you know why it is such a big deal to marketers?

A little common sense should give you an inkling into what the fake web actually is. The term describes an array of websites, advertising platforms, services, etc. all designed for nefarious purposes. The fake web is also designed to look like the real thing. It is all about separating people from their hard-earned money.

Marketers are extremely concerned about the fake web because they work with the main victims of its purveyors. Their clients are companies, nonprofits, and government entities looking to exploit the web as a digital marketing tool. So when their clients fall victim to the fake web, marketers take a lot of the heat.

A Click Fraud Example

There are lots of different ways scammers can utilize the fake web to rip off unsuspecting companies and nonprofits. One is the easiest is to set up a fake advertising platform through which a click fraud scam can be run. Click fraud companies are very good at this particular scam.

A scammer will create what appears to be a legitimate advertising platform. It will then solicit pay-per-click (PPC) ads by claiming to be a publisher. They will publish the ads on their own websites, then employ either click bots or click farm employees to continually click on those ads to drive up revenue.

Advertisers are none the wiser. They see what appears to be new traffic being generated by their ads. They are happy as can be, not realizing that every fraudulent click generates a charge to their account. They end up spending money on clicks that will never convert into paying customers simply because they are fraudulent.

Digital Marketers Run Ad Campaigns

Imagine being a digital marketer selling PPC services to your clients. You help them set up their ad accounts. You help them research keywords, place their bids, and publish their ads. Now imagine you find out that one of the publishers you recommended is a scammer. Not only has your client lost a lot of money, but you have lost his business and your reputation has taken a hit.

It is scenarios like these that have marketers terrified of the fake web. They need to tread very lightly so that they don’t end up getting their clients involved in fake web activities. The thing is that fake web scammers are extremely sophisticated. They know how to fool marketers and advertisers alike. They do it all the time, to the tune of billions of dollars annually.

Fighting Back Against the Fake Web

Fortunately, there are ways to fight back against the fake web and its scammers. Where click fraud is concerned, a click fraud protection service or software package is a good starting point. Fraud Blocker is an example. Fraud Blocker constantly monitors key metrics capable of identifying click fraud as it occurs. Once identified, advertisers can take steps to stop it.

Though the fake web manifests itself in many ways, it can be beaten if people know what to look for and are diligent about doing so. Therein lies the key. Scammers usually succeed because their victims are careless. If marketers and advertisers put more effort into paying attention, they would stand a greater chance of fending off fake web scammers before the damage is done.

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