The Adjust Mobile Measurement Glossary

Click Validation

Definition

What is Click Validation?

Click Validation requires ad partners to share impressions to confirm that each click has a matching impression. This confirms an ad was shown, preventing click fraud from infiltrating a marketer’s data and stealing ad spend. Click Validation is the new standard for mobile fraud prevention, created by Adjust.

How does Click Validation work?

For a user to click on an ad, that user must be exposed to an ad. Although this is entirely logical, ad channels are currently free to click on an ad without informing their attribution partners of a valid impression. Due to this, fraudulent clicks are delivered that (by validating each impression) would otherwise be rejected.

For their own analytics, network partners already track impression and ad delivery. So it’s entirely possible to share this data with attribution partners. Adjust’s new standard for Click Validation requires ad partners to share this data in order to confirm that every click has a matching impression.

For Click Validation to work, ad networks send Adjust impression data along with a unique identifier that corresponds with user clicks. By requesting an impression before the click, a matching engagement by the same device can be verified. Click Validation will therefore lead to more accurate attribution and less budget wasted due to ad fraud.

Click Validation protects against three kinds of fraud:

  • Click Spamming: This type of fraud happens when a fraudster executes clicks for users who haven’t made them. To learn all about click spam, take a look at our definition here.
  • Click Injection: This is a sophisticated form of click spam. Fraudsters can detect when other apps are downloaded onto a device by using an Android app to listen to “install broadcasts.” With this information, they can trigger clicks just before an install is complete, taking credit for that install.
  • Spoofed Users: Also known as replay attacks, this is the creation of legitimate-looking installs using real device data without the presence of any genuine installs.

Our white paper explains how this new standard requires ad channels to send impressions with a unique identifier (which will also be attached to any resulting clicks). This allows us to confirm a click was logically possible – a requirement that dramatically increases a fraudster’s workload.

Click Validation and Adjust

Click Validation is an additional package available to Adjust clients. In terms of network inclusion, Click Validation will become a core requirement throughout 2019 for all network members of the Coalition Against Ad Fraud (CAAF) – an alliance founded by Adjust with a shared devotion to tackling mobile ad fraud. Other industry players are also invited to implement Click Validation, creating more transparency and unifying efforts to prevent fraud in the ecosystem.