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December

How to Hide Ads from Spy Services?


Recently, we’ve reviewed free spy services. This time, we’ll give you tips on how to hide your ads from spy services. The information will be useful for creative specialists and teams who prefer distinct approaches in ads and landing pages design.

We have to warn you right away: there is no way to permanently hide your schemes and creatives in particular. However, it’s possible to prolong their non-disclosure. After all, if your scheme is disclosed two days after it was launched, you will not make the most of it. But if others will discover it after two or three months, you will have time to bank the profit.

Common tips to hide ads from spy services

You cannot hide the creatives, but you can hide the landing pages so that competitors won’t be able to discover the key content (they may not even understand what you are driving traffic to).

Unpopular GEO

Networks sometimes offer to test and drive traffic to unpopular GEOs. For example, Africa or the Arabian Peninsula. Many publishers uncheck them in spy service settings. If some scheme in these GEOs hooks on and works well, then it’s unlikely to be noticed (especially by large teams).

Narrow targeting

Another option is several similar ads with the narrowest possible targeting. For example, you can target men, 28-29 years old interested in cars and set up a similar audience for each ad with slight variations (for example, you can change the age from 28-29 to 30-31). These ads get fewer individual clicks, but as a whole, they accumulate good traffic. Due to low traffic, bots of popular spy services will not notice ads for a long time. And if they do, then the ad will appear at the very bottom of the SERP and few colleagues will scroll down there.

Both options above are fine if you want to spend time on advertising while driving small traffic volumes. Or else if you are going to look for offers in unpopular GEOs and test your schemes there.

Unpopular but high-priced domains

Another tip is to use unpopular domain extensions. This method is best for those who drive traffic from push notifications or teasers. In Facebook and Ads.Google, landing pages are banned worse than anywhere else. Therefore, if you buy a new high-priced domain each time (from 1,000 rubles), you will lose money and the ROI of the scheme.

To summarize, all these methods are pessimistic. You won’t hide from the spy service but will lower the rate of your creatives in the SERP of AdMobySpy, AdPlexity, or Publer. But it’s a working method because publishers hardly monitor the entire SERP of the spy service (commonly, they scroll down the first 100-150 creatives and 250-300 – for the pickiest ones). If your creative will arrive at 600th or 700th place in the SERP, there’s little chance anyone will see it.

Replace a link

You will not hide from all spy services, but there’s a chance with the prevailing and least expensive ones. Ad networks’ bots (cpa.rip, AdPlexity, AdMobySpy, etc.) do not monitor ads daily. Some monitor ads monthly, others do it once (then the ad appears in the SERP with the link that the bot managed to spot).

So, you create two pre-landing pages: a fake one and an operative one. As a fake one, use some of your outdated creos or ask for a ready-made landing page from an affiliate manager. Set up ads and drive traffic to them. And then monitor the spy service. As soon as you spot your ad, change its link to drive users to an actual landing page. Spy services will impress an ad with an outdated link for some time (or even forever). As a result, competitors won’t see your actual landing page.

Trackers and cloaking as the key solution

They usually dredge up images of ad network moderators, from whom you need to hide the gray landing page. But they can also help to hide your landing pages from spy services’ bots.

Few trackers have a database of spy services. To hide your page, you need trackers with the anti-spy function. We are familiar with two such trackers: Magic Cheker and PixelK (leave a comment, if you know more anti-spy trackers). The first one is costly, the second one is a low-budget option. Of course, they have a different feature set, but both are good against spy services.

A quick review on Magic Checker

The guys say their product is 100% safe against bots of any spy services. Besides, the service is VPN-protected. The spy service and VPN bot databases are updated weekly.

Global filters for bots and anonymizers.

The service is configured via binom.org. Traffic is filtered by the following criteria:

  • Bot. You can automatically redirect any bots to a fake webpage;
  • VPN and IP-proxy. You can also automatically redirect any anonymizers to a fake landing page;
  • Country;
  • Device;
  • OS;
  • Browser;
  • Internet service provider.

If you know the moderators’ IP address, you can include it in the redirection list.

Filter by moderators’ IPaddress.

The main disadvantage of the service is the high price. A monthly subscription is $200 (when paid monthly) or $160 when paid annually.

A quick review on PixelK

The tracker calculates standard indicators like CPC, EPC, ROI, the average cost per lead, etc. Besides, it provides the publisher with the following data:

  • Unique visits (the low rate means you get a lot of duplicated traffic);
  • The percentage of views (the ratio between those users who view the landing page out of the total number of those who followed the link);
  • User involvement and the average time they spend on the webpage;
  • Average page-in time;
  • The average time between landing page opening and conversion;
  • User language. The service downloads the language data from the user agent when the user clicks on the landing page.

The last parameter is crucial. After all, you can separate user streams by browser language settings. For example, you drive traffic to Spain but the landing page is visited by users with the Russian browser language settings. Of course, these may be Russian-speaking residents of Spain, but most likely these are your colleagues who spotted your ad in the spy service. You need to redirect them to a fake landing page.

PixelK user interface

PixelK shows spy service bots a 404 error, and the same or fake landing page to real people who clicked on a creative in the SERP. You can configure it in the settings.

The service offersthe best price – only $49 per month, although you can have unlimited traffic and ad campaigns. PixelK is good for teams. You can add several users and define their access rights.

Keitaro and Adspect also offer spy service protection options. However, this is not their main feature and they cover fewer spy services than Magic Checker and PixelK. You can use these trackers too. Still, you’ll hide your schemes from at least half of the publisher community.

PageLock protection script by NoipFraud

If you do not wish to use the above trackers, but the ones of your choice, opt for PageLock. It’s a simple PHP script to secure your landing page and prevent views by users who have not followed your PageLock Redir link. It works with all trackers.

The script allows the following users to view the landing page:

  • With valid signatures
  • With unchanged user-agent and IP
  • Who view the page less than a certain number of times per unit of time and make less than N number of clicks.

Typically, spy service bots visit landing pages regularly.

The PageLock script works with or without trackers. It operates as follows:

  • PageLock Redir (redir.php) receives visitor data, encodes it, and transfers it to the tracker.
  • PageLock Check (check.php) decodes the tracker signature and checks the visitor’s characteristics. In case the user’s signature is valid, the script will redirect the visitor to a secure landing page.

The system filters bot traffic and does not allow moderator bots and spy services on the landing page.

How to install it?

Copy the ‘redir.php’ file to your webserver. You can download it and related files here: https://github.com/noipfraud/PageLock

1). In the file, update the ‘TARGET_PAGE’ value with your tracker’s URL.

Next, select the cipher code and set it up for the SEC constant (LockItUp!, for example).

2). Go to the landing page file (make sure it has a ‘.php’ file extension) and paste the code from PageLock to the top. The captcha is located in the ‘check.php’ file on the same page as ‘redir.php’.

Next, in the ‘check.php’ file, change the value of the ‘EXPIRE_SECS’ constant if you want the timeout to be less than or more than one hour. It’s set to 3,600 seconds, i.e. one hour by default.

Make sure you update the SEC constant to the same cipher code as in step three (LockItUp!).

Finally, update the code in the ‘invalidSig’ function so that bots will view a fake page. To redirect unwanted visitors (bots and moderators) to a fake page, enter the location for non-liquid traffic in the ‘invalidSig’ value:

function invalidSig() {

header('Location: http://anotherurltosendblockedvisitsto.com', true, 301);

exit();

}

Now, spy service bots will be redirected to anotherurltosendblockedvisitsto.com.

A last-minute lifehack

There’s a way to troll a person who’ll try to download your landing page when he discovers it.)) There is a script on GitHub that can replace other links with yours. You can download it here: https://gist.github.com/dvygolov/4ebb6ee259afaa94aaeb58e28f504bc6

If a person copies your landing page and replaces your links, the script above will replace them with yours. While the unlucky publisher wonders why there are no leads and investigates it, you will receive several conversions. So it goes)

Thus, these are the options to hide a scheme from competitors:

  • Drive traffic to unpopular GEOs
  • Launch several ads with narrow targeting
  • Use rare domain extensions
  • Replace a link in a creative after it appears in the spy service

Trackers are the key option, as they redirect spy service bots to fake pages. You can use one or several options combined. As a result, either for money or for free, you will hide your schemes from colleagues, or even receive several leads from someone who decides to steal your scheme.

We wish you a high profit!


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