Ralph PerrierMay 3, 2019

Looking to exclude low-quality placements?


Rule of the week #5 will guide you to exclude low-quality placements that bring low-quality visits from display advertising. Why is it so effective? It automatically excludes placements that bring visitors who do not engage with your content.

Here is the overview of the protection rule to exclude those low-quality placements

click fraud protection rule

ClickGUARD protection rule that excludes placements that bring a lot of visitors that do not spend enough time on your website

The process behind the rule

Typically, you would examine display campaign placements by looking into the click-through-rate or conversion data. When a placement shows a higher-than-normal CTR, you might inspect it a bit more and try to figure out why that occurred. A higher-than-normal CTR should attract your attention.

And so should a lower-than-normal CTR or conversion rate. If you have a placement that hasn’t brought a single conversion in a long time, while accumulating costs, you will need to react. Often, the best reaction to this situation is an exclusion.  

How about introducing time-on-site as a metric?

Google Analytics offers an average session duration metric. It has a big problem, though: Google Analytics needs a second interaction for its’ systems to record time. If the user doesn’t click onto another page or invoke any other event, Google applies a session duration of 0.

You can read more on Google’s approach to measuring time here. But it boils down to having an interaction A (visitors entering a website) and an interaction B (user visiting 2nd page during a visit) as a minimal prerequisite for measuring the duration of a session.

Our time counter is significantly more precise. It manages to beat Google’s simply by taking into consideration the actual time a visitor spends on a website. The session starts the moment they land on your landing page, and it ends the moment they leave the website.

Time-based protection rules

When you have a time counter that measures the actual time visitors spend on your website, you can be more comfortable with using the time-on-site metric in your protection rules.

In the example above, we are excluding low-quality placements that are bringing at least ten visits that individually spend less than thirty seconds on the website within a day. When that occurs, ClickGUARD automatically excludes that placement for the campaign in question.

In this case, we’ve set the exclusion to last for seven days. After seven days that placement becomes active and can bring new visitors.

Combat low quality placements


Display campaigns can be tough. If you are including mobile app and video placements, they get even tougher — those are the places where most of the ad-fraud happens. Having good behavior metrics as criteria for evaluating the quality of incoming traffic can be of tremendous help.

Time-on-site is one of the most useful behavior metrics. So, test this rule out. Use it for a while until you get results you can analyze. Then you’ll be able to see whether you can use it to reduce costs and lower the CPA. At the very least, it might simply improve the performance of your GDN campaigns.


Ralph works with department leads to ensure they are well-integrated, highly motivated and focused on changing the AdTech space for digital marketers by delivering game-changing products and personal experiences.