What Is Click Fraud and Tools To Combat It?

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    albert somlith

    Co-Founder of PPC Ad Editor. I am a leader in digital marketing, specializing in strategic planning, implementation, and optimization.
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    Pay Per Click (PPC) online advertising involves paying for each click on an ad. Unfortunately, the increase in click farms has led to the growth of an invalid-money, multi-billion dollar industry known as click fraud. This illegal activity can significantly impact your online advertising efforts and cost you money. To protect your Google Ads campaigns from click fraud, it’s important to employ a range of prevention techniques.

    Lucky for you because this article describes all you need to know about click fraud, including click fraud prevention measures plus the tools you can use to control and combat fake clicks.

    Statistics on the Internet About Traffic and Users

    Did you know that only 48% of traffic on the internet is thought to come from humans? This fact was disclosed by a 2016 Imperva report aimed toward understanding which one between humans or automation caused more traffic. That means about 52% of traffic is non-human and comes from automation.

    However, some automated traffic comes from goodwill tools to collect information and offer automatic business responses. So it’s not as “alarming” as it seems since, in as much as it comes from bots, it’s not necessarily a malicious click. The part you should worry about is the 28 percent malicious bot traffic targeting PPC ads across the internet.

    Understanding Click Fraud; With Examples

    Digital ad fraud is where PPC advertisers pay for futile traffic caused by individuals or robots to ruin your ad campaigns. Remember how google ads work: for every ad clicked, you pay google for it. So, you end up having incurred your advertising campaigns’ cost without reaching your target audience. There are several types of fake clicks on google ads. They include:

    • Automated Fraud bots: Bots are excellent and bad concurrently. We’ve seen that they primarily respond and collect data aimed toward business goodwill. However, it can be scaled and pushed up by developers worldwide, making it very easy to forge automated bot fraudulent traffic.
    • Competitor/human clicks: In this instance, humans go through and click your PPC ads without any intention of using the ads to buy anything. They’re also called competitor ads because some of your competitors maliciously want to ruin your ad spend. Don’t think, “who would that?” Yes, it does happen, especially with high CPC niches and low-budget advertisers.
    • Click Farms: A click farm fraudulent click is a malicious attack from a malicious web developer or website owner. How? Suppose a web owner or developer informs you how big their audience is and has an ideal advertising space. If it’s true, well and good, but if it’s not, what will they do to drive tons of traffic to their site and get your ads clicked? They start a fraudulent ad click farm with malicious, selfish intentions aimed at their self-interest only.

    Detecting Fraudulent Clicks on your Google Ads

    When it comes to detecting and preventing click fraud, the good thing about google ads is, both of those things are done, to a great extent, automatically. If you check out the right-hand side of your ad campaign performance style=”font-weight: 400;”> metrics page, you’ll find columns for invalid clicks and invalid click rates.

    You’ll find the specific amount of click fraud Google managed to identify and eliminate during your PPC campaign ROI<span style=”font-weight: 400;”> and the valid ones too. Please note: Google refunds any fraudulent ad clicks.

    However, if you’re keen enough, and you suspect there’s more fraud than the one indicated and eliminated by Google in campaign conversions, and that you are potentially a victim of click fraud, What will you do? Please read on to know.

    You should check your ppc reports to see if there are any anomalies with clicks during a specific time frame. Here are some of our favorite automated ppc tools.

    Additional Ways of Eliminating Mobile Ad fraud

    Eliminating more fraud means you must employ more click fraud detection methods to identify and eliminate the extra advertising fraud that’s potentially hyping up your ad budget online. Hence, you can use the following means:

    Set IP addresses (AdWords) in Google Ads: Here, you’ll run research to identify the publisher IDs associated with fraud clicks on your site. Then block the addresses in your IP Exclusions in the setting tab of your digital campaigns style=”font-weight: 400;”> metrics page. After stopping the IP address associated with fraud clicks, you’re good to go.

     Adjusting Ad target Audience: A minor tweak can sometimes weed out your invalid clicks. Should you suspect that IP addresses from specific geographic locations often click farms from developing countries with low labor rates, it’s prudent to eliminate them from your ad targeting. However, be mindful enough not to stop good traffic; only set exclusions with definite absolution.

    Advanced Click Fraud Combating Tools

    One way to protect your campaigns from click fraud is by using a click fraud protection service. These services use advanced algorithms and real-time monitoring to detect potentially fraudulent IP addresses and eliminate click fraud. Another effective method is to employ a click fraud prevention tool, which can help you monitor your campaigns and alert you to any suspicious activity.

    In addition to using protection tools, it’s also important to stay vigilant and monitor your Google Ads campaigns regularly. Pay close attention to any unusual spikes in clicks, and be sure to regularly review your campaign data for any signs of fraud. Another way to detect click fraud is by monitoring your search engine reports for potentially fraudulent IP addresses.

    Here are some of our favorite tools for click fraud:

    Clixtell: This is an accessible and straightforward fraud detection technology for all-size businesses or agencies. It analyzes and monitors all PPC ad clicks each at a time with over one hundred data points. Their superior neural network detects any click fraud attempts, and they report bots, click farms competitors, and hackers for blocking.

    TrafficGuard: TrafficGuard app publishers made it an easy PPC ad . It actively monitors your add traffic, automatically blocklisting invalid traffic sources. They process over 3 trillion data points monthly. They have a 4.8 rating as a great and quality real-time support and reports.

    ClickCease: ClickCease stops fraudulent search engine click-on-ads. Its advanced click fraud protection and detection technology that aids advertisers in boosting their PPC campaigns. It features campaign monitoring, IP-blocking, detailed fraud reports, and custom detection rules plus was featured as the best ease-of-use website analytics software in 2020.

    Spider AF: Spider AF is an anti-click fraud software for blocking any fraudulent activity in your google marketing campaign ads. It’s an ideal method of saving on your advertising budget. They offer advertisers, publishers, DSPs, SSPs, and networks a secure channel for their marketing efforts.

    By employing a combination of click fraud protection services, tools, and regular monitoring, you can help to eliminate click fraud from your Google Ads campaigns and ensure your advertising budget is well spent.

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