What is invalid traffic (IVT)?
Invalid traffic is the technical term for advertising impressions generated by bots or any form of nonhuman traffic. IVT is often conflated with ad fraud, but not all invalid traffic is malicious. Still, detecting all forms of IVT is essential to protecting ad spend and ensuring impressions are valid and viewable.
In an effort to help advertisers guard against IVT, the Media Rating Council (MRC) launched the IVT accreditation in 2015 to help prove the effectiveness of measurement providers on IVT for desktop, mobile, web, video, and in-app mobile. There are two mutually exclusive categories:
|General Invalid Traffic (GIVT)
|Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT)
|Identified through routine means of filtration executed through application of lists, or with other standardized parameter checks.
|Difficult-to-detect situations that require advanced analytics, multipoint corroboration/coordination, or significant human intervention to analyze and identify.
- Known data center traffic
- Bots, spiders, and other crawlers
- Activity-based filtration
- Nonbrowser user-agent headers or unknown browsers
- Prefetch or browser-prerendered traffic (unless never counted as a gross impression)
- Bots and crawlers pretending to be legitimate users
- Hijacked devices and user sessions
- Invalid proxy traffic
- Adware and malware
- Incentivized manipulation of measurements
- Falsely represented sites and ads
- Cookie stuffing
- Manipulation or falsification of location data