The state of invalid traffic for Q1 2020

The state of invalid traffic for Q1 2020

What’s your experience been with invalid traffic (IVT)? If left unchecked, publishers can lose their ad accounts and experience a range of very unpleasant issues in their business. Since launching Traffic Cop, MonetizeMore’s invalid traffic detection and blocking solution, we’ve been privileged to have first-hand experience in the world of invalid traffic.

Our data science team has recently created a report on the state of invalid traffic in Q1 2020. In this post, we’d like to share our findings with you. We’ll break the information down in terms of geographical location, device, browser, platform, and traffic sources.

If you’d like to get a free copy of the report, you can download it here.

For this report, our data science team analyzed 1.95 billion page views and 1.43 billion sessions across 373 domains for Q1 of 2020 (January – March 2020).

The top 10 countries based on IVT to traffic ratio

top 10 countries ivt

This graph demonstrates the percentage of traffic per country that turned out to be invalid traffic. As you can see, Norway had the highest rate of invalid traffic at 7.04%, with Russia in second place at 4.13% and South Africa the lowest at 0.83%.

IVT to traffic ratio by device category

ivt to traffic ratio device category

Out of the 1.95 billion page views we analyzed, 1.45% of the desktop traffic was detected as invalid traffic. Mobile came in second with 1.37%, and tablet devices last at 0.44%.

Top 10 browsers used for driving invalid traffic

top 10 browsers used with ivt

In this section, the browser is determined by the user agent. As you can see, the Yandex browser-20 leads invalid traffic with 31%, followed by a variety of different Google Chrome versions.

Top 10 OS based on IVT to traffic ratio

top os traffic to ivt ratio

This graph shows that out of all the traffic from devices using the Android 4 operating system, 30.97% of the traffic was invalid traffic. It’s followed by Mac OS X in second place and iOS-7 in third.

IVT to traffic ratio by popular UTM source

ivt to traffic by UTM

Outbrain leads the way in driving the most invalid traffic to publisher websites in this report. DuckDuckGo is close on its heels in second place with Bing and Yandex in third and fourth positions.

In conclusion

Invalid traffic plagues the digital advertising industry and can cost publishers tens of thousands of dollars & their ad network relationships. Often publishers receive significant ad revenue clawbacks because they leave IVT unchecked. Some run the risk of having their AdSense and other ad network accounts suspended without even knowing it. When that happens, it’s almost too late, and getting those accounts back is a nightmare.

That’s why you need Traffic Cop! Traffic Cop collects hundreds of user data points with the use of machine learning to detect invalid traffic and prevent it from serving your ads. That’s right! It doesn’t just detect IVT and give you a nice little report where you can block sources afterward. It blocks invalid traffic sources from seeing and clicking on your ads. As a result, you minimize the effects of revenue clawbacks and prevent your ad accounts from being banned.

Get peace of mind knowing that invalid traffic can’t hurt your business with Traffic Cop. Start protecting your sites today!

Kean Graham

CEO and Founder at MonetizeMore

Kean has been a pioneer in the AdTech world since 2010 who believes in the supremacy of direct publisher deals, programmatic advertising, and building ad technology as keys to scaling ad revenue. Here, he provides publisher resources and guides covering areas like website monetization, AdSense optimization, Google Ad Manager, Ad Exchanges, and much more.

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  1. Anand

    Thanks for the article Kean. How do you define invalid traffic here? I’m particularly surprised by Outbrain leading the way in traffic channel for invalid traffic.

    • MonetizeMore

      Anything that isn’t genuine human interaction with the site in question.

  2. Daria Landar

    Hello, I am interested in learning more about your Traffic Cop program. How can I see a demo of that and get more information?


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