Supporting Publishers: Ad Quality During Covid-19

Think no one clicks on ads? COVID changes that. Alongside lockdowns, security risks have steadily increased as fraudsters have successfully leveraged the pandemic to compromise ad quality.

When CPMs Fell, So Did Publishers’ Defenses

While out of necessity, GeoEdges CS team has prioritized the now– focusing on constant support for clients.

Out of the numerous clients and partners increasingly feeling the heat are GeoEdge’s publisher and platform partners operating in transportation, navigation and news publishing.

Of the hardest hit, clients in the transportation/ navigation sector were and continue to be approached with a strong proactive plan offering continuous support and assistance.

News publisher partners, have witnessed spikes in traffic and impressions but suffered from a drastic CPM drop between 30 % – 50%.

Since January 2020, the COVID pandemic has hurt both CPMs and ad quality across a wide range of digital publishers and platforms with negative effects requiring immediate action.

With an 85% growth in security attacks since the beginning of the year, the situation often translated into an increasing need for protection and immediate problem solving.


Higher CPMs,  occasionally serve as a barrier to malvertisers and other bad actors who aim to deploy harmful code or launch scams through publishers’ ad slots. While some bad actors are willing to pay high CPMs, many are able to meet their nefarious goals via lower-hanging fruit. So, by extension, low CPMs present an invitation to scammers, fraudsters and hackers.

A New Ad Quality Front

It’s imperative for publishers in an upended digital landscape to a) take control of their sites, b) their relationships with their audiences, and c) their capacity to protect their users from poor experiences and scams.

To take action meaningfully on these issues, it’s crucial to understand what makes an ad “fake” or deceptive.

Fake or deceptive ads fall into three broad categories.

  1. There is no correlation between the ad creative and the content of the landing page it leads to.
  2. The ad leads to a landing page that is related to the ad creative, but the landing page content is low-quality — poorly-made or fraudulent products, misinformation, salacious content, etc.
  3. The ad leads out to phishing scams, links to download malicious code, and other tactics meant to harm the user and enrich criminal enterprises.



Deception and enticement are the top strategies of these scammers whose ads have spread throughout the digital ecosystem recently.

This is a marked change from the strategies of similar bad actors in the past.

Rather than ambushing the user with redirects and malware attacks, these strategies convince the user to voluntarily navigate to the landing page where bad actors can do their unsavory work.

Working Together On Solutions For The Future

COVID-19 emphasized the importance of knowing not only a client’s unique business but required an understanding of their elaborate business environment.

Putting the right foot forwards requires a proactive approach, and continually re-evaluating the right solution for each publisher or platforms’ unique situation.

What does essential knowledge now look like? – An understanding of who clients serve, the industry they operate in, their position in the ecosystem, culture of the company and their geographic location.

Traditionally this level of knowledge and deep understanding of a client’s business isn’t always translated into direct action items but during crisis this knowledge isn’t just beneficial–its essential.

COVID-19 has swept businesses into uncharted waters, and as we navigate the impacts of the pandemic, we witness massive challenges bringing about meaningful change.

Mutual respect, understanding, and proactive support has fostered tighter, more close-knit relationships. Additionally, attention to detail and around the clock support allows publishers and platforms to be free of quality and security risks.

At a time when user experience is under attack, ensure your mission-critical business is sealed off from malvertisers and fraudsters.


Our newly released Ad Quality During COVID-19 eBook details how fraudsters have successfully leveraged the pandemic to compromise ad quality. Interested?  Download Here 

Malvertising, the practice of sprinkling malicious code into legitimate-looking ads is growing more sophisticated. GeoEdge’s holistic ad quality solution has you covered.


450+ Publishers & Platforms