February 11, 2019


$70M Botnet Fraud Identified

Are you into programmatic ad buying? Well, this might concern you.

A major botnet exploit involving Ads.txt (a text file) was identified by DoubleVerify. If undetected, it could have easily cost advertisers roughly around $70M-$80M a year in ad spend.

Ads.txt is a text file that publishers place in their site code, identifying authorized ad sellers to ad buyers. Almost all US publishers use Ads.txt file implementation for programmatic media buying.

However, some con artists were able to use this text file and a hack to spoof legitimate publisher sites and create a bot network to artificially pump up page views.

What can ad buyers and sellers do?

Always know who you are doing business with.

  • As a publisher, be careful about who you sell your ad spaces to. Only add trusted partners to your Ads.txt file. Make sure that the ad networks you allow to sell your inventory only offer it through a direct relationship with the advertiser. You can then limit the domains and code to only those you have authorized and block those you haven’t.
  • As an advertiser, make sure exchanges only sell inventory from either a direct relationship with the publishers. Or through a maximum ‘one-hop’ relationship where any inventory sold must have a direct relationship with the publisher.

Both publishers and advertisers must insist on clearly defined contractual agreements with their respective ad networks or partners to ensure the above relationship.

What are your other options?

  • The IAB Tech Lab’s digital signature Ads.cert implementation works with Ads.txt to close the verification loop. It offers advertisers a way to ensure the authenticity of a specific site’s inventory, not just the ad space seller.
  • Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) also provides third-party certification and more secure options of programmatic purchase continue to grow at a faster rate than buying on open exchanges.


Pixel helper down, Facebook betting on groups. Keep your score high

It seems that the Pixel Helper went down during the weekend. Marketers panicked but not much info came out about its cause-and-fix from Facebook’s end. Well, that clearly isn’t the biggest problem Facebook had on its plate. They are having some deep troubles with German regulators. Then we talk about new features released for groups. And how to keep your FB Page Score high.

New Features for Groups

In order to keep its community engaged, Facebook is betting hard on groups. And at the last Community Summit, they unveiled a range of new tools for groups. FB aims to provide additional options for admins to encourage more active participation among group members.

Are you wondering what the Community Summit is? It’s a meeting that brings together Facebook group admins so they can share their best practice tips, provide feedback to Facebook leaders, and learn about what’s coming next.

Here are some of the updates from the Summit:

  • Post Formatting: Group admins will have a range of new post formatting options, including variable text sizes, bullet points and block quotes. This aims to make their announcements stand out.
  • Brand Collaborations: Facebook is also looking to test new brand collaboration options for groups, which will enable associated groups to offer relevant deals.
  • Improved Group Communications: Facebook is releasing a feature that will enable group admins to provide members with additional information on rule violations and why their posts are not being shared.
  • Expansion of Mentorship and Subscription: Facebook is expanding the Mentorship option to all groups. Also, more groups will now be given the ability to offer subscriptions, enabling them to create separate content for dedicated members.

In addition, there has been another update, yet not announced at the summit: Facebook Pages will also be able to participate in Groups.

Why are Groups helpful? They represent an alternative way to connect with your audience. If you aren’t already leveraging them, it’s worth a second look. These new features provide even more access to the conversations happening within the community. And they create more engagement within your followers.

Keep your Page Score High

Scared about your Page Score? Worry no more, because Bechir Arfaoui got a way to keep it high. And he shared it in the Facebook Ads Experts Academy group.

The key is to ask your customers to leave feedback before they are even asked by Facebook.

Bechir Arfaoui suggests sending your customers the link of their Ads Activity and asking them for an honest review.

Do not ask for positive reviews: it’s against Facebook policies. So, mind the difference between honest and positive.

But before doing this, make sure of two things:

  • The customer bought your product through a Facebook Ad, not an Instagram Ad: Instagram Ad activity doesn’t appear in the Ads Activity section yet.
  • You made your customer happy: Delivering the product on time, satisfying customer support etc.

Bechir Arfaoui says that following this method helped him increase his Facebook Page Score from 2.2 to 4. Well, we hope it helps you achieve the same.

German regulators to shut down current Facebook advertising business

The past week, Germany’s antitrust organisation ruled that Facebook was exploiting consumers by forcing them to agree to its data collection activities just to have an active FB account.

And the regulators have prohibited the company from indulging in such practices. Basically, in Germany, Facebook won’t be able to collect users’ information anymore. Like they did so far.

“Facebook will no longer be allowed to force its users to agree to the practically unrestricted collection and assigning of non-Facebook data to their Facebook user accounts,”

Obviously, Facebook disagrees. If they won’t be able to collect users’ data, they have no reason to do business in Germany. However, Facebook has one month to appeal.

If it fails, the company will have to change how it processes data internally for its German users.

Well, the Facebook vs Governments season has started again. And as always, we’ll keep you informed!

Pixel helper down over the weekend?

It looks like during the weekend, the Pixel Helper extension stopped working. Yes, you were not the only one. Many marketers experienced this issue and the problem is spreading around the interwebz.

If you were just happy thinking your competitors were not using the pixel to retarget their visitors, it wasn’t about that. It’s just that the troubleshooting tool isn’t working.

Though many people reported that updating their browser and re-installing the extension fixed the problem for them. If that didn’t work for you, we hope that it will be fixed as soon as possible. We’ll keep you posted on this.


The questions every beginner has

New to dropshipping? Looking to launch your first successful store? Excited to hear the initial few cha-ching sounds from your Shopify store?

Sure, you got a lot of burning questions and need someone to address them once and for all.

Justin Woll tried to answer some of the common questions for beginners looking to get started with their e-commerce journey. Here is what he shared in the Ecom Empires group.

How do you identify a successful product? You should see the following things from the word go:

  • Consistent sales across multiple ad sets in a single day. Not just a sale here and there.
  • Great looking KPIs like CPM, CPC, CTR. Significant social proof like likes, shares, tags.
  • Organic purchases from the shares and tags.

What to do when you get your first sales?

  • Duplicate such ad sets into 5 new campaigns to test different optimizations. 3 back end ads as opposed to 1. This forces your pixel to hit more pockets of audiences.
  • Follow up with a consistent 20% increase in budgets.

How and when to use Retargeting & Lookalike audiences?

  • Create purchase based Custom Audience after receiving 25 sales.
  • Create and test Video Views (All Options), VC, ATC, PE split across $5 ad sets.
  • Use DPAs for retargeting the audience with the products they viewed.

How & when do you start Manual Bidding?

  • You can use manual bidding after you have some great ROAS ad sets.
  • Duplicate these ad sets into new campaigns.
  1. $1K budget – 1 day click – 2x CPP
  2. $2.5K budget – 1 day click – 2x CPP
  3. $5K budget – 1 day click – 2x CPP
  4. $8K budget – 1 day click – 2x CPP
  5. $15K budget – 1 day click – 1.5x CPP

How & when should you focus on store branding?

  • Once you have a consistently successful product and back end in place, you might want to change/optimize the theme, site speed, user experience etc.
  • Use Brand Awareness campaigns.
  • Continue with retargeting campaigns.
  • Test more creatives, graphics, offers.
  • Focus on providing exceptional customer support.
  • Focus on better sourcing deals and get white labelled packaging.
  • Go all out on collecting emails and having strong backend automation and follow-up sequences.

Like we keep saying, knowing a strategy is one thing, but executing is a completely different game altogether. These follow-up email sequences remind you of any follow-up questions? Find Justin here on this post.


The SMARTEST LINK in Affiliate Marketing

One of the most challenging aspects of performance marketing campaigns is the sheer amount of analysis and optimization that goes into keeping them ROI-positive at a reasonable volume for extended periods of time.

When smartlinks hit the market, many affiliate marketers jumped at the chance – only to find non-transparent funnels suitable for remnant traffic.

ClickDealer have decided to refine the technology and create a DATING SMARTLINK that would:

  • Distribute your traffic among direct offers from ClickDealer’s most trusted advertisers.
  • Allow you to keep your individual payouts on any given offer.
  • Rotate a massive base of freshly updated and internally tested creatives.
  • Automatically optimize creative combinations and traffic distribution on the go.
  • Provide detailed real-time reporting on performance, both individual and network-wide.

In other words, an effective and transparent funnel that can actually monetize high-quality traffic.

Grab this power with offer 56193. It’s live and available under the “Smartlinks” section of your affiliate portal, go ahead and create a campaign!

If you need any assistance setting up your campaigns or navigating the section, this recent blog post features a detailed guide with step-by-step screenshots.

Detailed guide with screenshotsDon’t have a Clickdealer account yet?

Take advantage of a variety of direct, own and exclusive offers in different verticals like:

  • Dating
  • Sweepstakes
  • E-commerce
  • Mobile apps

Sign up right here!


Gmail updates its spam-filtering algo

Gmail has around 1.5B free email users and 5M business users globally. And as far as their Inbox experience is concerned, Google’s security and machine-learning is able to block more than 99.9 percent of spam, phishing, and malware from reaching Gmail inboxes.

99.9%. That’s already cool, right?

Not for Google…That 0.1% still keeps them awake.

In fact, they just released TenserFlow, an open-source machine learning (ML) framework to fight email spam more effectively than ever.

With TensorFlow, Google is now blocking around 100M additional spam messages every day. Blocking unsolicited emailers who were previously able to slip through that 0.1% figure.

Using TensorFlow, Google is now able to block:

  • Image-based messages.
  • Emails with hidden embedded content.
  • Messages from newly created domains that try to hide a low volume of unsolicited messages within legitimate traffic.

Well, the best part about it is that as the algo has evolved, genuine emails previously flagged as spam will no longer be marked as spam.

Not just that! Google is also testing TensorFlow in other security-related areas, such as phishing and malware detection.

And here’s another best part about it: It’s open-source! It means anyone can use it for their benefit. Making machine-learning accessible to everyone.

If you want to learn more about this technology, you can visit the official platform here.


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

Why you should play the guitar after scaling your campaigns

What better day than a Monday to ask you guys and gals this question.

What do you do when you feel stressed? Or whatever you call that feeling you get after spending enormous amounts of screen time creating 100 ad sets and 300 ads!

Well, here at WTAFF, we are learning to play a musical instrument. Because this research suggests so.

After every great piece of share-worthy news found, we try to play some power chords.

After every wanna-be case study we find around, we play some jazz.

After every data leak and FB crackdowns, we play some blues.

Well, the point is that learning to play a musical instrument lowers stress and stimulates imagination.

Not just that, we might also launch a course about learning musical instruments. Or a course about learning how to sell courses on learning musical instruments.

We are just kidding, but you see. Just talking about playing a musical instrument can be a conversation builder and a stress reliever.

Take the guitar, for example. There are 6 strings, 24 frets, and an entire language to learn. Once you figure out where to put your hands, it just takes some practice and the muscle-memory will kick in.

And whether you are able to become a rockstar or not, the sound of music will definitely help you relax and feel energized for the rest of the day.


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