Click fraud, wherein bots or other unauthorized users click on ads to falsely inflate click-through rates, is a major problem in the online ad industry. This disclosure describes a type of ad, known as a honeypot ad, that is not particularly attractive to humans, but for bots is indistinguishable from a genuine ad. Publishers who employ bots to fraudulently inflate click-through rates, or to misrepresent the popularity of their app or website, are detected when the number of clicks on such honeypot ads are substantially larger than the number of clicks on genuine ads.
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Bogorad, Walter; Nelson, Will; and Summerhays, Daniel, "Detecting Spam Publishers By Serving Honeypot Ads", Technical Disclosure Commons, (October 01, 2019)