Are you an advertiser with a PPC campaign? Are you not experiencing the results you were expecting? Then you could be a victim of click fraud.
You may have already heard the term before, but did you ever stop to think what it means for you and your business? Well here’s the thing:
Click fraud is an expensive problem, and almost no one is immune from it, including your competitors! However, there are certain ways to detect click fraud which can save you thousands in PPC expenses.
But before we get into how to do that, what exactly is click fraud and why do people do it?
What is Click Fraud?
As you probably well know with PPC networks, advertisers bid against each other to win the right to display their adverts for a particular keyword. Whenever a customer clicks that advert and is taken to their website, the advertiser is charged a fee which can be anything from 10 pence to £10 or more.
With so many people competing for the same keyword and some keywords costing a lot of money, it’s easy to see why click fraud takes place. By clicking an advert with no intention of buying you can waste competitors money, make money for yourself or just be a nuisance.
Click fraud happens for a variety of reasons, and it’s not just 1 type of person (or robot) doing the clicking. Here are the top offenders for click fraud:
The most common people who click on your PPC ads can be grouped into the competitor’s category. These are businesses and companies that are competing in the same industry as you and therefore are targeting the same PPC keywords as you.
Most likely your competitors will be clicking your ads in order to deplete your PPC budget as soon as possible. This is so they can force your PPC campaign to run out of money and make your ads disappear, or just increase the cost of your average conversion.
As devious as it might sound, competitors are the most common reason for click fraud and to put it simply, they’re jealous of your PPC campaign. Maybe they don’t have the money to get a top tier ranking, or they have no money at all, whatever the case they just want to cause you misery by spending your money.
The second most common culprit of click fraud are the owners of websites. When advertising on Google’s PPC network, you can choose where your adverts are displayed. The first and most obvious choice for many PPC users is to have their advert on the search page of Google as these often receive the best return and conversion rate.
However, users can also opt into Google’s partner ad network where their ads will be displayed on Google partner websites not related to Google. Every time a visitor clicks on one of these ads, the webmaster or publisher as they are known in the business, gets a cut.
As you can probably guess by now, some website owners purposely click their own ads in order to generate more ad revenue. Some website owners even go to extreme lengths using proxies, robots and other malicious techniques to get more clicks. Although PPC networks do keep a close eye on their publishers, with millions of them out there, it’s hard to track them all.
The final group of people who partake in click fraud are potential customers who most of the time have no idea they are even committing click fraud. When a user does a search and clicks on your advert the first time, they might be genuinely interested.
However, if the same customer does the same search and clicks the advert a second time, then they are unknowingly participating in click fraud. It might be that they’ve forgotten the website’s name and that’s the only way they know how to get to your site. Or they did the same search a few weeks later, and your advert takes their fancy.
Every time someone clicks, you have to way. Regardless if they are first-time potential customers or returning customers, there is always a price. Really visitors should be using a bookmark to visit your site, but of course, there is no one there to tell them that.
Click Fraud Detection Software
With all this click fraud taking place, luckily certain PPC networks have built in click fraud detection. Google, the biggest PPC network out there, constantly checks clicks to see if they are up to their high standards. If the same user has clicked the same ad several times in the last few minutes, then Google’s click fraud detection algorithm will detect it.
All clicks that have been deemed click fraud will automatically be refunded back to the advertiser’s account. Although this is an excellent click fraud detection service, it doesn’t stop everyone.
Like we mentioned earlier, sometimes these fraudsters go out of their way to get the job done. This means employing proxies and robots to do the clicking for them. Not only does this make them even more of a nuisance but it also makes them harder to detect.
Luckily some people have become fed up of click fraud and how much it costs their business and have decided to do something about it. After all, Google only really care about getting paid.
Here at PPC Protect, we specialise in eliminating click fraud and saving you money. Built by a team of advertisers who were sick of seeing their money wasted on fraudulent clicks, our click fraud detection software can save you lots of money.
Using our state of the art algorithm that regularly checks the clicks on your adverts and checks them against known fraudsters, our automated system can help you defeat click fraud.
With setup taking less than a few minutes, you can have your own anti-click fraud protection protecting your beloved PPC campaign.