In order for a user to click on an ad, they must be shown the ad before. While this sounds like simple logic, currently, ad partners are free to log in click data without providing the mobile measurement partner (MMP) a verification of matching impressions. Hence, fraudulent ad partners can easily get away with click fraud, and marketers have to waste their ad budget paying the fraudsters. Click validation is a protection tool that prevents this issue, as it requires all ad partners to provide their MMPs with matching impressions to their click data.
The process of click validation operates full circle, providing reliable security and attribution all around. First, when an ad network serves an ad to display, the MMP is notified with a unique ID that attributes to this action. After, when the user clicks on the ad, it sends another postback to the MMP with an impression ID. MMPs will then sort through the compiled data to match impressions and IDs, verifying that the click came from the same user that the ad was served to. Essentially, piecing the data together makes it increasingly easier to detect any incoherent actions and provide accurate attributions.
When click validation was first introduced, the mobile marketing industry believed it had the potential to completely eradicate click fraud, considering how intricate and secure the method was. While click validation certainly remains one of the most reliable prevention tools, it has its limitations.