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Headless Browsers Are Often Used For Click Fraud. Here’s Why.

What are headless browsers

Click fraud is a serious concern for advertisers who use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising as part of their marketing strategy. Click fraud is the act of repeatedly clicking on an ad with no intention of actually engaging with the website. This is done in order to drain the budget of the advertiser and cause their ads to no longer be shown.

Headless browsers have been used to commit click fraud, making them a hot topic in the digital advertising world. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about headless browsers and click fraud.

What are Headless Browsers?

Headless browsers are web browsers without a graphical user interface (GUI). They are used for automated testing of web applications, scraping data from websites, and running web-based scripts. Headless browsers operate in the background and can run multiple instances of themselves, making them ideal for executing repetitive tasks.

Here is a list of all headless browsers in existence.

How do Headless Browsers work?

Headless browsers use the same rendering engine as regular web browsers, but they don’t render the web pages on the screen. Instead, they interact with web pages programmatically and can perform actions like clicking on links, filling out forms, and scrolling. Headless browsers can also execute JavaScript, making them more powerful than traditional automated testing tools.

How is click fraud committed with Headless Browsers?

Headless browsers are popular for ad fraud because they can simulate real user behavior such as mouse movements, page scrolling, and loading web pages. 

Fraudsters can also use headless browsers to click on your ads repeatedly, making it difficult for you to identify fraudulent clicks from real clicks. Headless browsers can also be used to generate traffic to a website you may be advertising on, making it appear more popular than it actually is.

How does Fraud Blocker protect against Headless Browsers?

Detecting click fraud committed by headless browsers can be difficult, but not impossible.

Fraud Blocker uses fingerprint detection technology that helps identify a user based on the unique characteristics of their device. These elements include detecting their operating system, their type and version of web browser being used, their browser’s language setting and more. We then create a unique ID for that user and monitor their behavior for fraud as we do with IP addresses.

As you can see in this screenshot of our Reports page, we detected a user that was using a Headless browser and we blocked that user in near real-time from seeing your ads.

headless browsers

Screenshot of Fraud Blocker’s Reports page

Click fraud is a significant concern for advertisers, and headless browsers have made it easier for fraudsters to commit click fraud.

However, by using Fraud Blocker, you can prevent your ads from displaying from any user that has a Headless Browser. In addition, we block bots, click farms, accidental clicks and more from harming your advertising performance.

Try our free 14-day trial and improve your results today.


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