GIVT vs SIVT: What Is GIVT and SIVT? Decoding Invalid Traffic Types

June 7th, 2019

If you work in programmatic advertising, then you’ve probably come across a lot of technical jargon in your time. But what about GIVT and SIVT? Sound familiar?

In the world of digital advertising, understanding the terminology is essential if you want to keep up to date with the fast-moving industry. There’s nothing worse than staring into a colleague’s eyes and nodding your head while you quickly try to make sense of what they’re saying.

If you feel like you’re a bit out of date with the lingo, then don’t worry, we’re here to change that. We’ll be specifically covering the GIVT vs SIVT terms in this article, making sure you have an excellent understanding of what they both mean and why they’re important.

Throughout this article, we’ll be referring to the official Invalid Detection and Filtration Guidelines Addendum, released by The Media Rating Council in 2015. Maybe you’ve already heard of the MRC and have an idea of who they are, or it’s your first time hearing about them. Whatever your background, here’s a quick overview of what they do and why they’re so important for the industry.

The Media Rating Council

media rating council logo

Founded during the 60’s in the US, the Media Rating Council was established to manage accreditation for media research and rating companies at the time. Since then, the MRC has become an important body in all forms of broadcasting and advertising, including online advertising.

During their decades overseeing advertisers, the MRC has devised several standards for which are used throughout the online advertising industry today. Two of those standards happen to be the GIVT and SIVT.


To spare you any more frustration about these acronyms, let’s decode them to ensure you have a good understanding of what they mean. The standards by MRC can be defined as:

From first looks, these two acronyms might look incredibly similar. Well, in fact, they are!

They both cover invalid traffic but are divided into two different categories, general and sophisticated invalid traffic. So what do these actually mean?

GIVT Definition

GIVT or General Invalid Traffic is defined by the MRC as:
“Traffic identified through routine means of filtration executed through application of lists or with other standardized parameter checks.”
Key examples of GIVT include:

  • Known Data Center Traffic
  • Bots, spiders and other crawlers
  • Activity-based filtration
  • Non-browser user-agent headers or unknown browsers
  • Pre-fetch or browser pre-rendered traffic

(Page 6, Invalid Traffic Detection and Filtration Guidelines Addendum, Media Rating Council, October 15th, 2015)

SIVT Definition

SIVT or Sophisticated Invalid Traffic is defined by the MRC as:
“Difficult to detect situations that require advanced analytics, multi-point corroboration/coordination, significant human intervention, etc., to analyze and identify.”
Key examples of SIVT include:

  • Bots and crawlers pretending to be legitimate users
  • Hijacked devices and user sessions
  • Invalid proxy traffic
  • Adware and malware
  • Incentivized manipulation of measurements
  • Falsely represented sits and ads
  • Cookie stuffing
  • Manipulation or falsification of location data

(Page 6-7, Invalid Traffic Detection and Filtration Guidelines Addendum, Media Rating Council, October 15th, 2015)

How The Guidelines Are Used

The GIVT and SIVT guidelines establish two key ways to identify and detect invalid traffic. Usually, within this invalid traffic, there are often large amounts of fraud which can be in the form of clicks (on PPC adverts) or views (on CPM adverts). Here at Lunio, we’ve incorporated these MRC guidelines into our software to ensure the best detection rates possible for clients.

Not only does our software block known proxies and fraudulent IP addresses from seeing your ads, but we also use advanced analytics to determine those sophisticated fraudsters. By tracking important variable data points such as resolution, browser type and device ID we can identify those hard to track fraudsters.

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