April 18, 2018 — OWOX BI Smart Data. Reports for exposing affiliate fraud in CPA networks

We at OWOX often stumble upon the problem of affiliate fraud in CPA ad networks and help our clients solve it. We have utilized the experience we got dealing with the problem and added to OWOX BI Smart Data reports that help you expose affiliate fraud.

With these reports, you can:

  • Detect a traffic source change
  • View user sessions before CPA-transaction sessions
  • Expose the affiliates who buy ads with brand keywords
  • Get a list of intersecting transactions delivered by several affiliates
  • Estimate the quality of traffic delivered by your CPA affiliates

Also, you can use CPA metrics and dimensions to build your reports in Smart Data.

How to expose affiliate fraud using the OWOX BI Smart Data reports

Interpreting these Smart Data reports helps you detect affiliate fraud and make your work with CPA networks more effective.

1. Detect a traffic source change

Question:
How the transactions of CPA partners are distributed considering time since traffic source change?

An answer to this question helps you identify if the CPA traffic source was changed by the affiliate (by cookie stuffing or other technique).

Here we recommend paying attention to the transactions or revenue share that falls into the 60-second timeframe between sessions. The more this share is, the more the possibility that the traffic source was changed.

Query:
Show the traffic source for the session that was before the CPA-transaction session and the time between these sessions.

This query shows the info in sessions that happened before CPA transactions.

Pay attention to the sessions that happened in less than 60 seconds before the CPA-transaction session. The sources of these sessions are being undervalued because of cookie stuffing.

2. Expose the affiliates who buy ads with brand keywords

Question:
How does sessions quality measured by number of pageviews depend on CPA publisher?

This report helps find out if your CPA affiliates use brand context ads to drive acquisitions.

You can also segment this report by geo parameters: countries, regions, and cities.

3. Define, which affiliate should be rewarded in case several affiliates claim transactions

Question:
How was the CPA session distributed to landing pages and keywords?

There are cases when working with several CPA affiliates, you can get the same transactionID from different affiliates. In this situation, you need to find out who had really brought you the acquisition.

This Smart Data report shows which affiliate is an acquisition source or is the closest to the CPA transaction in the session chain. By our experience, these affiliates should get the reward for the transaction.

4. Estimate the quality of sessions delivered by your CPA affiliates

Question:
By what transactions different CPA webmasters intersect?

With this question, you can detect the affiliates who bring incentive traffic which leads to bad-quality acquisitions.
Incentivized sessions tend to have low length and depth — usually, it’s only the page that leads to a transaction.

5. Build reports using CPA dimensions and metrics

New dimensions are now available in Smart Data: СPA network and CPA webmaster.

New metrics are: CPA session and CPA transaction.

The CPA network dimension shows a traffic source details down to the UTM campaign. CPA webmaster — down to the UTM content.

We identify the affiliation with a CPA channel by tags “cpa”, “affiliate”, and “partner” in the UTM medium.

You can build a custom report using these metrics and dimensions, as well as combining them with any other metric and dimension available in Smart Data.

All CPA reports are available in the CPA tab on the Smart Data main page:

CPA reports filter tab

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