How to Use Residential IPs for Ad Verification
How to Use Residential IPs for Ad Verification
By 2026, the online advertising industry is expected to reach $350 billion. For both e-commerce enterprises and “brick and mortar” businesses, advertising on websites and social media reaches a global audience, raising both brand awareness and revenue. But when online advertisements end up on inappropriate sites or are otherwise compromised, that poses risks not only for a company’s bottom line but also for the reputation of its brand.
That’s why verifying online advertising through an independent, third-party service is a crucial component of many marketing campaigns. Ad verification agencies crawl the web to collect a wealth of data about a client’s advertisements, using rich networks of residential IP proxies to sidestep bot detectors and other website security traps.
What is Ad Verification?
Ad verification serves a number of purposes for both advertisers and publishers whose websites host their campaigns. In the most basic way, verification is a way of checking whether online advertising is performing as expected in terms of reaching the appropriate audience and delivering the desired results. Ad verification services can monitor ads for different features that an advertiser specifies, such as geographic location, content of the host website, and even placement on the page to determine an ad’s effectiveness and appropriateness.
Why Use Ad Verification?
An ad verification campaign can save advertisers money and protect their reputation online. One key reason for verifying ads is to check for appropriate context. That can determine whether ads are running on inappropriate or dangerous websites that can create negative associations and repercussions for the brand. For example, a benign ad might run on a site that allows hate speech or pornographic content, which creates an indelible association with the company running the ad.
Ad verification can also check an ad’s visibility for a variety of reasons, such as whether an ad can legally be displayed. In some markets around the world, ads for products such as liquor, cannabis, or medications are prohibited or restricted, so displaying ads for these types of products can expose an advertiser to legal consequences. Especially, if the ad campaign isn’t complying with the laws in the publisher’s home location.
Aside from checking for obviously inappropriate ad placement, the verification process can be used to learn whether an ad is reaching its target audience. An ad for mountain bikes might not belong on a site intended for parents of newborns. An ad’s placement on a web page can also affect its visibility and reach, so ad verification campaigns can also check to ensure that ads are shown in high-traffic areas on the site.
Verification can also include a look at an ad’s context, to ensure that it isn’t running next to a competitor, or near content that challenges the premise of the campaign, such as an ad for a steakhouse placed next to an article on the benefits of a plant-based diet.
Along with checking the appropriateness of advertising placement and visibility, ad verification can also protect against fraud, which costs advertisers billions in lost revenue and brand damage. The web’s many bad actors can use a variety of malware and dirty tricks to redirect visitors to questionable third-party sites or to generate the appearance of high traffic to the target site.
Ad Verification Benefits Advertisers and Publishers
Online fraudsters have an arsenal of strategies for making money from legitimate advertisers and publishers. The most common scams and schemes plaguing online advertisers include hijacking campaigns in which malware takes over an advertising slot and redirects traffic from it. Another frequent ploy is fraudulent clicks, in which visitors who click on an advertised offer are instead redirected to a different site. Bots can also imitate human users to generate clicks and siphon a site’s legitimate traffic to sell that traffic or to beef up traffic stats for a scam site.
Although it might seem that setting up an online advertising campaign is a simple process arranged between advertisers and the website publishers who host them, ads can travel through several links and third-party entities that may be unknown to the campaign’s original creator. For example, a site hosting a particular advertisement can be sold to another party that makes significant changes to its content. Therefore, an ad that was entirely appropriate now appears adjacent to content that ranges from irrelevant to actively damaging.
Publishers can also benefit from ad verification since it can protect their sites from security risks and damage to their online brand. Sites that rely on advertising revenue might unwittingly accept advertising that contains malware or fraudulent redirects. Likewise, bot-generated clicks and other kinds of fraudulent activity can result in lost revenue and damage to the publisher’s reputation.
Companies can conduct the ad verification process on their own, but it’s usually outsourced to a trusted ad verification service, which has the resources to conduct a comprehensive analysis of all ads appearing in markets around the world. To do that, these services employ vast networks of residential IP proxies, which make it appear that millions of real, unique people are visiting the sites in question to avoid bot detection and other security features.
Residential IPs: A Key Tool for Ad Verification
Every device that can access the Internet has a unique IP or Internet Protocol address that’s assigned by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and is visible every time a user is active online. Too many requests to a server in too short a period from one of these residential IPs can trigger a variety of security features on target websites. The IP might be blocked, flagged, or even fed fraudulent data. Residential IP proxies can sidestep this problem and allow any user, including ad verification services, to crawl multiple websites without penalty.
Residential proxy networks allow users to hide their “real” IP address behind a series of legitimate residential IPs, which can rotate among websites to appear as if they belong to separate individual searchers. For the purposes of ad verification, residential IPs, which can number in the millions in some networks, allow verification services to avoid bot detectors and collect the necessary data to analyze ad performance.
How Do Residential IPs Verify Ads?
Residential IP proxies are generated by ISPs, so they’re better able to avoid detection and blocking than IPs created in bulk by datacenters. Because each one is unique, ad verifiers can conduct massive search activity across multiple websites with a low risk of triggering bot detectors. They can search for an ad’s keywords or tracking code to determine the ad’s location, context, placement, and more, thereby delivering data that can be returned to the advertiser. Using those insights, advertisers can take action to improve the performance of ad campaigns and protect the reputation of their brand.
Online advertising brings revenue and builds brand awareness, but only if ads are in the right place and performing correctly. Ad verification can help businesses of all kinds to ensure that their ad campaigns reach the right audience and represent the brand to the world, and residential IPs are a key tool for collecting the data that drives results.