Dear adbrix users,

Google recently released Google Play API (referrer API) and let users know the time when installation started. This is a critical change in that it can prevent ‘Click Injection’, a typical type of fraudulent traffic.

Reference – Google Play Referrer API: Track and measure your app installs easily and securely

adbrix has upgrated the click injection prevention function using this referrer API and deployed the adbrix SDK including the feature. The upgraded feature will be applied since the adoption of new adbrix SDK, IgawCommon_v4.5.4a, and setting Google Play Referrer is required when updating the SDK.  – Go to Guide

Please note a user’s Google Play version should be 8.3.73 or later. As of December 14, 2017, the latest version is 8.4.19, and most mobile devices released after 2012 can use the latest version of Google Play.

The details and meanings of the updated click injection prevention feature can be found below.


Change – Google Play provides ‘app install start time’

Attribution tools are based on a structure that counts the attribution of a media when ‘app open’ occurs after the last click. Click injection attacks this structure to detect the timing of an app install via malware, then let a click occur before the app opens as if it is the last click, and take the attribution.  Therefore, marketers had to deal with click injection through the CTIT report that calculated click time to install time afterwards.
Reference – Types of major fraudulent traffics and CTIT report for monitoring

But what if the attribution tool gets to know the exact app install starting time?
Clicks that occurr after the start time of ‘app install’ by ad clicking and landing at Google Play can be considered as fraudulent traffic and therefore can be rooted out and prevented.  This is because the pattern of clicking on multiple other ads while the app is already started installing is unusual.

Therefore, Google’s newly released referrer API is very meaningful in that it provides ‘start of app install’ time, which helps to prevent click injection from happening.


adbrix’s New Feature – Fundamental prevention of click injection and adding new performance report

adbrix has updated the following features by applying the referrer API.
This feature works only when the new SDK(IgawCommon_v4.5.4a) and Google Play Referrer settings are complete.

a. Fundamental prevention of click injection

Clicks occurred after ‘app install start’ and before ‘app open’ are not counted. 
In other words, when adbrix starts to find the last click for an attributed install, clicks occurred in between ‘app install start time’ and ‘app open time’ are ignored.
This timeframe includes timeframe where a click injection originates, this ignorance will root out possibility of a click injection.

Below figure shows timestamps, the new data provided by Google Play Referrer API, and the change of adbrix by the referrer API adaptation.


Figure: Process from ad click to app open and change by adapting Google Play Referrer API (App is an example.)

b. Adding new performance report (TBU)

Based on the timestamp of the Google Play user events provided by Google Referrer API, adbrix will provide additional report to check the time from the ad click to the event. The time will enable marketers to diversify metrics to measure advertising efficiency.
Ex) Time from ad click to app install (CTIT)

adbrix is very pleased with and welcome the decision and the effort of Google Play to share new data point to prevent fraudulent traffic, and wish to develop into a healthier mobile ad ecosystem through the Google Play Referrer API.

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