The goal here is to see what people are running on mobile – their creatives, LP’s, networks, etc. There are limitations to mobile spying. Think about all the specific phone models, carriers, countries, etc. There’s no way to effectively spy on all that, but you don’t have to. You should be using this to get ideas. If you start doing well with a specific vertical, you can make the extra effort to spy there.
I don’t recommend any specific spy tools because I don’t think they’re worth the cost (for mobile). Mobile is relatively easy to spy on your own, and the tools only show a very small part of the mobile landscape.
In this guide, I’ll be showing you a few ways to research the competition and a few other tricks so let’s get started.
I’m going to show 3 ways to do this. You aren’t limited to just one of these, you can try them all. There is some overlap, but you’ll be able to view certain things on one and not another. I would recommend starting with one technique before progressing to the next. You don’t have to do all of these all at once.
The first way is assuming you have an Android phone.
A VPN allows you to visit sites/apps with an IP address from different countries. So if I wanted to spy on UK ads, I would choose that in my VPN settings.
The second way is if you don’t have an Android phone.
– Download and install Virtual Box.
– Install Android on Virtual box. It’s not hard, but instead of writing out the steps here I’m going to direct you to one of the many guides already written on it here.
The above setup lets you run the Android operating system on your computer. So when you visit sites they see your computer as an Android phone.
The third way is to use prebuilt emulator solutions. Here are two I’ve used:
You can install the Google Play Store on these and go to town spying on apps & games. Pretty sweet right? Here’s a video that shows how to add Google Play store on Genymotion
Here’s another tutorial from Stackoverflow https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2…ag-and-drop-su
Now that you know how to set this up, it’s time to start spying. Exactly what you do (visit sites vs use apps) depends on the setup you choose. If you want to spy on apps or games, simple visit the Google play store either on your phone or through an emulator and start downloading. Open the app and view banners. Depending on the app, you might have to visit different screens to start seeing banners.
You can also visit mobile sites that you know ads are being shown on. How do you know this? A few mobile networks hand you this on a silver platter. One of them is Decisive.is.
Log in and go to the Planner screen, then click on a country
Now click on site and you can see sites that show ads
Visit these sites on your phone/emulator and you’ll see banners (ads).
If you’re spying on your phone, you can take screenshots (Google how to do this for your particular device). If you’re running on a virtual machine you can use any screenshot tool like Jing.
Now you know how to see mobile ads on websites and in apps/games. You can of course click on the banners to see what offer they’re promoting, but I’m going to show you how to do a little more.
You can follow the links to see not only who is promoting an offer, but where they’re running it. As a primer, read this lesson about Live Http headers (alternatively, try https://www.wheregoes.com/) I suggest that because doing this on mobile is slightly (but not a lot) more complicated. What we’re doing here is viewing what redirects happen when we click on an ad. This will show the tracker it goes through, and the network it goes through.
Another use for Live HTTP Headers/Wheregoes is to see if a network is re-brokering an offer. All you have to do is put your affiliate link in and watch the redirects. This requires recognizing the network tracking links but it’s easy to spot if it’s going through more than 1.
Now, to do this on mobile requires some different approaches. There might be other ways to do this I’m not familiar with, so if someone has a better or easier way please let us know. You’re going to be using a third party tool to analyze your phone network traffic.
A popular way to do this is using Charlesproxy. This would be a tutorial in itself, but there are already some existing ones here is a good one. During my research, I came across a program for Mac called Debookee that looks like it would accomplish the same thing.
If you really want to geek out, you could install the Android apps tPacketCapture and use Wireshark to analyze. It’s necessary to go this far, but I wanted to include it here for the sake of being complete.
Armed with this data, you can find affiliate trackers, LP’s, creatives, offers, and networks.
Bonus Tip – Install the Ad-Network Scanner & Detector app for Android and have fun!
Now you’re armed and ready to spy on the competition. However, spying will only help you a little. No amount of spying will let you bypass working hard and spending enough money to get profitable on mobile.
Let me know if I can answer any questions for you. If anyone has their own spying tips, I would love to have those posted in this thread too.
From:Dr Manhattan Date: 08-27-19
From:David Date: 08-27-19
From:elmer123 Date: 08-27-19
From:Buster Date: 08-27-19
one question: are spying tools like WRW useful for mobile spying?
From:ashamen Date: 08-27-19
This depends on how you define useful heh. WRW is so-so, I prefer to just do it myself and it’s cheaper. Like with anything, I don’t do much spying. Only maybe once per month for a few hours to keep up with what’s out there. Typically it’s nothing we haven’t already seen.
From:Dr Manhattan Date: 08-31-19
I have not personally done a lot of mobile spying but I’m going to put my thinking cap on and see if I can add to this angle you are taking.
From:jerdei Date: 08-31-19
From:zeenus Date: 09-01-19
From:jeff898 Date: 02-21-19