According to our tradition, this past week we met with Offer Ben-Saadon from ClickFrauds – a startup that has established itself less than a year ago, yet achieved an amazing amount of customers and an impressive algorithm. ClickFrauds is in fact the baby of Offer’s other startup – Optymizer – a digital marketing and web-solutions company. We were lucky enough to find ourselves in the coolest basement in Lehavim – a quite town near Beer-Sheva – where all the magic happens. We sat with this hip, fun and familial group lead by Offer alongside his wife, Sarah Ben-Saadon, and heard what ClickFrauds is all about.
So, Offer, tell us about the genesis of ClickFauds. How did it all begin?
“Well, I think you could say it all started when I was living in the US and was working in advertising. At about 2005 I started working in real estate. I was exposed to the advertising world and gradually learned it with all its aspects. In 2008 there was a big crisis in the US, so Sara and I found ourselves with no jobs. Thus we started our new independent path and established Optimizer, and after a few years – ClickFrauds.”
Explain to us dummies who know nothing in advertising, what is it that ClickFrauds does exactly?
“When working with advertising companies online, a whole new world is revealed. I started noticing that there are various campaigns that just didn’t function ‘naturally’. That is, the amount of clicks destined to a certain campaign were ‘wasted’ too quickly. It didn’t make sense to me that a campaign was over in just a few hours, there is no way so many people clicked the add in such short time.”
So, what causes this anomaly in the click-ads?
“There is a huge competition in the advertising world. There are many ways to fake a click, for example, ‘bots’ that are programmed to do so. That way, the ad doesn’t create a business, because no one really watches it. In contrast to the advertiser, the web owners doesn’t care who clicks the ads, because the don’t care where the money comes from.”
As you smart readers probably realized already, ClickFrauds prevents and stops the phenomenon of fake clicks. They’ve come to realize there is a vast necessity in the industry for this kind of mechanism, thus developed an accessible algorithm for the companies to use.
Other than saving massive amounts of money, what are other benefits ClickFrauds offers advertising companies?
“Our customers are not only hurt financially, but they also put their business making to a halt, as when the campaign is over, Google doesn’t show it anymore. It’s as if someone will give fliers for their employee to hand-out to people on the street, and that employee will just throw them out.”
How does your algorithm work?
“It detects patterns that are obvious frauds, flags them and stops sending ads to that account. The second step is more complex; the system processes the data more acutely, trying to find more anomalies in the clicks that passed the initial test. It’s as if in this step we observe the clicks with a magnifying glass. We also have a new system that is based on social media technology. It connects relevant clicks together and infers relevant information for blocking certain accounts.
For our grand finale, what can you say to new start-uppers?
“You don’t always need to invent everything from scratch. I believe that with the right mind-set and creativity you can take something that already exists, and repurpose it. That way, you actually improve it. Also, don’t be afraid of being public, exchanging information in the tech world is a positive thing, don’t be shy! Don’t think someone will steal your idea, it doesn’t work this way. More than that, I believe that letting others know which people stand behind the startup is a blessing. Reveal yourselves and even your difficulties, it has a good vibe to it.”