Mobile Ad Fraud Detection Enhanced With Kochava And New Google API

Google adds new data via their Google Play Install Referrer API data.

The API, released by Google last week, provides new data about installs and is applicable to identifying fraudulent behavior. The API provides marketers with the referrer URL of the installed package.

“Having that detail of when the timestamps occurred for the click and the install is a valuable addition to the data we flag in our Fraud Console,” said Charles Manning, Kochava CEO.

By having app download initialization times, fraudulent behaviors like click injection will be highlighted. It will allow us to identify unusually long or short periods of time passing from the moment the user started the download until the same user opened the app and started using it.

With the timestamp of the click, marketers will see if the click occurred after the user initialized the download and whether that click was injected by bad actors attempting to game the attribution process. Kochava customers can access the new data directly from the Play Store via the Kochava SDK.

“This additional data directly from the Play Store provides increased precision for the Kochava fraud suite to further minimize fraud for our customers,” Manning said.

Kochava is a veteran in combating mobile ad fraud and has been providing fraud abatement and management features to clients for the past several years. Earlier this year, the company automated its service through the Fraud Console, which now gives marketers access to 13 visualizations produced from algorithms that identify troubling patterns in data and flags them for review.



The newest visualizations identifying abnormal behavior include Click Flooding, Time-to-Install (TTI) Outliers and TTI Distribution. These help in identifying attribution fraud, where the install is legitimate but the attribution is taken by a “bad actor.”

“We’ve been identifying these anomalies for our customers. Now, visualization of these types of fraud are readily accessible to them through the Fraud Console,” Manning said.

The Click Flooding visualization flags publisher sites filling their channels with clicks to game attribution. The TTI Outliers visualization highlights installs occurring within exceptionally short periods (e.g., less than 30 seconds); and TTI Distribution shows the numbers of those short installs occurring within the first five days of a campaign. Marketers can use information from the Fraud Console to further investigate and block fraudulent entities in real-time using the Global Fraud Blacklist.

“We’ve seen that 84% of fraudulent clicks come from the highest volume networks. Of those, we’ve flagged 27% of installs on these networks.” Manning said. “The new visualizations are a strong addition to our Fraud Console.”

For more information about the Fraud Console and the newest visualizations for mobile ad fraud detection, visit our support documentation or request a demo.

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