Click Spamming in Mobile Game User Acquisition: How to avoid? -

Click Spamming in Mobile Game User Acquisition: How to avoid?


Mobile gaming has revolutionized the entertainment industry, as well as the user acquisition ecosystem with millions of users engaging in various games and applications every day. However, behind the scenes of this booming market lies a challenge for user acquisition managers – click spamming. In this blog post, we delve into the world of click spamming. We discuss its impact on user acquisition, and the crucial strategies to combat this prevalent form of fraud. 

User acquisition is the lifeblood of every mobile game developer’s success. This involves creating targeted advertising campaigns to attract new users, drive installs and achieve high user engagement. This competitive process requires a delicate balance of creativity and data-driven strategies to entice potential players.

What’s click spamming about?

In the race to gain an edge over competitors, mobile game developers face an insidious threat – click spamming. Here’s how it works:

  • Click IDs collected with click spamming 
  • Organic install happens
  • Publisher X attributed for the underserved install 

Since clicks are made by real and engaged users, it’s advantageous for fraudsters to claim quality installs.

Understand and Combat Click Spamming 

The effects of click spam go far beyond numbers; it poses severe consequences for user acquisition managers and the success of an entire mobile game. Protecting investments, maintaining integrity, and cultivating loyal users require understanding click spam tactics and putting in place effective countermeasures.

At its core, click spamming is an unethical practice aimed at gaming the advertising system. Automated bots and manual efforts are used to repeatedly click on ads, giving the impression that real users are interested in the ads. Because of this, measures of user acquisition are distorted, which leads to inaccurate evaluations of advertising effectiveness.

How Click Spamming Affects User Acquisition and Mobile Game Performance

In its wake, click spam leaves a trail of destruction that impacts every aspect of user acquisition campaigns and mobile game performance. As a result, budgets are wasted on fraudulent clicks, which drives up user acquisition costs.

Secondly, misrepresenting click data skews conversion rates, making it difficult to determine the real return on investment (ROI).

Last but not least, non-genuine users may reduce the game’s engagement and retention, which would be detrimental to its long-term success.

Key Indicators of Click Spamming Activity

User acquisition managers must be vigilant for telltale signs of click spamming:

  • Suspiciously high click numbers that do not align with the number of installs or downloads
  • Unusually low conversion rates (click-to-install)  despite significant ad engagement

Analyzing Data Patterns for Signs of Click Spamming

The use of data analytics is crucial to detecting click spam. Analyzing user data closely can reveal abnormal patterns, such as a high number of clicks originating from a single IP address or region.

It is wise to examine click-to-install times (CTITs) by publisher. Because click spammers cannot control when the app is organically downloaded, CTITs are generally longer than real non-organic installs and CTITs will show an abnormal distribution.

Generally, most conversions happen in the first two hours after the user clicks on the ad, but this timeframe is exceeded with click spamming. The market standard is having this exceed 20% maximum, otherwise the possibility of fraud increases.

Detecting Click Spamming: Adopting Best Practices

Constant Monitoring of Click-Through Rates:

Continuous monitoring of click-through rates (CTR) is a fundamental step in detecting click spam.  A sudden surge in clicks without corresponding increases in downloads or installs may indicate fraudulent activities. Managers can detect anomalies quickly and respond proactively by establishing baseline CTR metrics and comparing them with real-time data.

Conducting Data Pattern Analysis:

The use of data-driven analysis can help uncover click spamming activities. IP addresses, device types, user behavior, and geographic locations are among the key data points to analyze. An unusual pattern of clicks, such as a cluster of non-human devices clicking or disproportionately high numbers from a single IP address, could indicate click spam.

Leveraging Advanced Fraud Detection Tools:

In order to improve their ability to detect click spamming, user acquisition managers should equip themselves with advanced fraud detection tools. Using machine learning algorithms and real-time analytics, these tools help identify fraudulent activities in an automated and sophisticated manner. Managers can take immediate actions to prevent further damage by leveraging such technology and detecting click spam early on.

Remember that being proactive in identifying irregularities is the first line of defense against click spamming.

Tools and Technologies to Combat Click Spamming

  1. Adjust Fraud Prevention Suite:

The Adjust Fraud Prevention Suite is a comprehensive ad fraud detection and prevention tool that offers real-time protection against click spamming, SDK spoofing, and other fraudulent activities. It uses advanced algorithms and machine learning to analyze data patterns and identify suspicious behavior, allowing advertisers to take immediate action and protect their campaigns from fraud.

  1. AppsFlyer Protect360:

AppsFlyer Protect360 is a leading mobile ad fraud prevention platform that leverages advanced AI and predictive analytics to detect and block fraudulent activities in real-time. The software provides accurate attribution and offers robustprotection against click injections, click spamming, and other fraudulent practices, ensuring advertisers only pay for genuine conversions.

  1. Kochava Fraud Console:

Kochava Fraud Console is a powerful ad fraud detection tool that helps advertisers identify and combat fraudulent activities across their mobile ad campaigns. It uses a combination of rule-based and machine learning algorithms to analyze user behavior, detect anomalies, and prevent fraudulent clicks and installs.

  1. Singular Fraud Prevention:

Singular Fraud Prevention is a feature-rich mobile ad fraud software that enables advertisers to detect and prevent ad fraud across their marketing campaigns. It provides real-time fraud alerts, offers device-level fraud protection, and utilizes deterministic attribution modeling to ensure accurate and reliable attribution.

  1. Interceptd:

Interceptd is a user-centric mobile ad fraud prevention tool that uses behavior analysis to identify and block fraudulent activities. It offers insights into the quality of traffic sources, protecting advertisers from click fraud, attribution fraud, and install hijacking.

  1. FraudScore:

FraudScore is an all-in-one ad fraud detection and prevention platform that offers real-time protection against various fraudulent activities, including click fraud, attribution fraud, and bot traffic. It provides a comprehensive fraud risk assessment and helps advertisers optimize their campaigns for better performance.

The role of AI and machine learning

The use of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized the way user acquisition managers combat spamming. Using these technologies, advertisers can identify and prevent click spam, making them indispensable tools in the fight against ad fraud.

The key strength of machine learning and AI lies in their ability to continuously learn from vast amounts of data. These systems can distinguish legitimate user engagement from fraudulent activity by analyzing historical user behavior, click patterns, and campaign data. As click spammers adapt their tactics to avoid detection, machine learning algorithms can update their fraud detection models accordingly.

The real-time analysis capability of machine learning and AI is a game-changer in click spamming detection. While traditional rule-based systems may struggle to keep up with click spamming techniques, machine learning algorithms are adept at recognizing new patterns and anomalies as they appear. As a result of this real-time detection, user acquisition managers can take immediate action, protecting their campaigns and budgets.

What to Do If You Encounter Click Spamming

Immediate Steps to Take 

If you suspect click spamming is affecting your campaign, you should take immediate action. Ad campaigns should be temporarily halted until an investigation into the unusual click patterns is conducted. By pausing ads, managers can prevent further financial losses and analyze the extent of click spamming.

To mitigate the damage caused by click spamming, relevant authorities, such as ad networks and platforms, must be notified. Informing these entities of the fraudulent activity will enable them to prevent further harm to other advertisers and developers.

Legal Avenues and Protections for User Acquisition Managers

It may be necessary to take legal action against click spammers in some cases. To protect themselves from click spamming perpetrators, user acquisition managers should consult with legal experts. In order to seek compensation for damages caused by ad fraud, managers need to understand the legal framework surrounding it.

Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate

Mobile game developers and user acquisition managers are not the only ones facing click spam; it is an industry-wide problem that needs to be addressed collectively. Collaboration among various stakeholders is essential to combat click spamming and maintain the integrity of the mobile gaming ecosystem.

Click spamming must be addressed by mobile game developers, advertising networks, and platforms working together.The sharing of information on emerging threats can enhance the industry’s collective knowledge and enable a united front against fraud.

It is possible for the industry to establish standardized practices and guidelines for detecting and preventing click spamming through collaborative efforts. These shared frameworks can serve as a reference for all stakeholders, helping them stay informed about evolving fraud tactics and reinforcing their defenses.

Moreover, pooling resources and expertise can lead to the development of more robust and sophisticated fraud detection tools. When user acquisition managers, ad networks, and developers work hand in hand, they can invest in cutting-edge technologies that continuously evolve to stay ahead of click-spamming perpetrators.

Final Thoughts

Click spamming remains a persistent threat in the mobile gaming industry, but with vigilance and strategic planning, user acquisition managers can protect their investments and maintain the integrity of their campaigns. Embracing technological advancements, collaborating with industry peers, and staying informed is key to successfully combating click spamming.

As the mobile gaming landscape continues to evolve, user acquisition managers must stay informed about the latest click spamming tactics and prevention methodologies. Being proactive in implementing the best practices and utilizing cutting-edge tools will fortify their defenses against click spamming threats.

Share the knowledge!

Raise awareness about click spamming by sharing this article with other user acquisition managers, industry peers, and stakeholders. Together, we can build a robust and fraud-resistant mobile gaming ecosystem. 

Feel free to share your experiences, tips, or success stories in combating click spamming!


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