What is Domain Masking? This Infographic Explains it

Adtech analytics company Pixalate reported in the past that fraud ad networks are engaging in the practice of selling ad impressions from low quality domains making the buyer think they are buying one domain when they are really appearing on a completely different website. This practice is called domain masking. While this is an old time fraud technique, many modern day marketers don’t understand how it works. This infographic will clear it all up.

The Definition  of domain making according to Exchangewire:

A fraudulent seller hard codes a publisher domain into an ad unit. The ad runs on different publisher that commands a lower price. The buyer thinks their ad ran on the intended domain and somehow they got a deal (i.e., got the ad below market value) Neither the publisher or advertiser know that they’ve been defrauded. – Exchangewire

Ad Fraud Domain Masking Infographic

How it Works? 6 Steps

  1. Low Quality Impressions start going down the assembly line.
  2. Impressions are labeled as inventory from premium publishers within the code.
  3. Premium Publishers sell their inventory on open exchanges.
  4. Bidders buy low quality inventory thinking they got a deal on a premium site.
  5. The buyer ends up with low quality impressions that do not perform. (let the tears begin)
  6. The seller is left behind with unsold inventory.

Breakdown by category – Percentage of domain identiry theft on Open exchanges 46% (These #’s are from a year ago)

Category Percentage
Business and Economy 56%
News and Media 56%
Entertainment 55%
Computer and Internet 50%
Regional 50%
Arts 48%
Health 44%
Reference 42%
Education 40%
Recreation 40%
Society and Culture 35%
Government 10%