Click flooding, categorized as mobile ad fraud, occurs when networks deliberately generate a substantial volume of deceitful clicks. This strategy aims to attribute the last click just before an app installation takes place. By doing so, these networks seek to claim full credit for the conversion.
Click flooding, sometimes referred to as click spamming, constitutes a variant of click fraud. This deceptive practice involves malicious entities orchestrating the dissemination of a large number of counterfeit click reports. Their goal is to secure credit for the concluding click prior to app installations. This not only allows them to reap rewards from advertisers but also wreaks havoc on marketing budgets.
How exactly does click flooding operate? Fraudulent actors manipulate click attribution by fabricating clicks on behalf of users who did not initiate them. This enables them to lay claim to fabricated clicks, positioning themselves for unwarranted gains.
A fraudulent application might execute these counterfeit clicks while the user is actively engaged with it or even when it’s running in the background (such as battery-saving apps or launchers). These apps might even convert impressions into clicks, offering up deceptive engagement metrics, all without the user’s awareness or intention.
Countering click flooding fraud is achievable through anti-fraud solutions designed to automatically thwart traffic stemming from sources involved in click flooding.
In order to identify the origins behind a click flooding assault, these solutions scrutinize traffic patterns characterized by prolonged Click-To-Install Time (CTIT) distributions, diminished click-to-install conversion ratios, and/or elevated rates of multi-touch contribution (note: this necessitates access to multi-touch attribution data).
A valuable yardstick when assessing one’s data is that approximately 75% of installations materialize within the first hour following a click, with around 94% of installs taking place within 24 hours of the initial click.
It’s important to note that video ads and larger applications often exhibit extended CTIT durations.