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6 Myths About Click Fraud

Neil Andrew

Neil Andrew

January 2nd, 2020

Neil is Scottish so when he's not writing for PPC Protect he's eating haggis and watching Braveheart.

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Click fraud. No matter if you’re a PPC marketer or not, you’ve probably heard of the term mentioned by now. Whether it was on the news or a blog, everyone has their opinion on the matter. With some people calling it the biggest threat in online marketing and other people telling you not to worry about it, who should you believe?

To help you debunk fact from fiction, we’re looking at 6 of the most common click fraud myths out there. The chances are you’ve already heard some of these myths before, but which ones did you believe?
Let’s get things started with the most common myth out there: thinking it won’t affect you.

It Doesn’t Affect Me

fake news newspaper

The first and most common myth that many pay per click users fall for is the myth that click fraud doesn’t affect them. Just because you can’t see any inconsistencies in your data doesn’t mean that you aren’t the victim of click fraud. There are thousands of malicious bots and unethical competitors out there looking to waste your budget at any given moment.

Without the right tracking and click fraud monitoring software, it’s almost impossible to track who’s clicked your ads manually. Since networks such as Google AdWords don’t record individual user IP addresses, there’s no way to track how many fraudulent clicks you are getting.

Just because you can’t work out the number of fraudulent clicks doesn’t mean you are immune to click fraud.

Google Stops Fraudulent Clicks

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It’s easy to think that with such a massive problem in the industry PPC networks such as Google would be tackling the problem. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Although Google does have an invalid click department, they don’t actually stop the fraud. If you’re lucky, then they’ll give you a refund instead.

The problem with Google’s anti-fraud department is mainly down to trust. How can you tell if they are charging you for a fraudulent click or not? You can’t; you just have to take their word for it.

The same goes for when they charge you money every time someone clicks on your ad. How do you know if the user was genuine or a robot? You don’t; you just have to take their word for it.

Considering Google make 90%+ of their revenue from paid search, it’s in their interest to tell you the clicks are genuine. Without verifying the clicks yourself, you’ll just have to believe Google is telling the truth. As you can see, there is a clear conflict of interest.

It’s Not A Big Problem

click fraud robot

If you don’t think you’ve been affected by click fraud in the past, then you probably don’t think it’s a big problem. After all, if you haven’t been affected, then it can’t be that big of a problem.

The truth is that almost nobody is immune from click fraud. No matter if you’re a local business or multi-billion dollar company. If you run ads on pay per click networks, then you’re at risk of experiencing fraudulent clicks. With so many different people out there waiting to click on your ads, the problem is bigger than ever.

To put things into perspective for you, according to research from Pixalate, the current global click fraud rate is 1 in every 4 clicks. This equates to an estimated $16.4 billion lost to ad fraud in 2017 alone. If you thought click fraud isn’t a big deal, then think again.

I Can Block Click Fraud Myself

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Users who understand the risks and problems of click fraud will usually try to block fraudulent clicks themselves. But even for the most tech-savvy users, this poses an almost impossible task.

Since Google doesn’t give out any identifiable information on users who have clicked your ads, it makes it incredibly hard to work out if they’re genuine or not.

One of the ways many users try to do this is by checking their server logs to see who has connected to their server. The first problem is identifying whether the user came to your website via a search engine, direct visit, or paid ad.

Without having some kind of tracking in place, it’s almost impossible.

Even if you could view all the users that came from your paid ads, how would you work out if they’re robots, and accurately? Banning a single IP address could potentially stop thousands of people from seeing your ads.

To make things even worse, many fraudulent bots use rotating IP’s to change their footprint.

If you wanted to keep up to date with the robots, then you’d have to update your exclusions list regularly. Not only is this very time consuming, but the chances are you wouldn’t be able to keep up.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can block click fraud entirely on your own.

Click Fraud Prevention Software Is Too Expensive

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The only way to securely protect your ads from fraudulent clicks is to use click fraud prevention software such as PPC Protect. However, for some users, just the thought of paying money for a click fraud protection service is too expensive.

“I’m already paying for ads so why should I pay for additional software?” you may ask. Well, the truth is that many companies and businesses pay for 3rd party PPC services and tools all of the time. Unfortunately, the AdWords platform doesn’t do everything that everyone wants, and it certainly doesn’t block click fraud, as well as people, would like.

This means you basically have two options: carry on experiencing click fraud, or buy some software and do something about it. When you could be potentially losing hundreds every month to fraudulent clicks, paying a fraction of that to stop it makes perfect business sense.

To prove click fraud prevention software is worth it, we’ll even give you a 14-day free trial of our software to make sure you save money.

My Campaign Is Too Small

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No matter how big or small your PPC campaign is, no one is immune from the threat of click fraud. Although having a smaller ad does decrease your chances of experiencing click fraud, it certainly doesn’t make you immune from fraudulent clicks.

All it takes is for one of your competitors to see your ad, and they’re almost guaranteed to give it a click. So whether you’re a local plumber, carpenter, or small business, all it takes is one click and you could be out of pocket.

With cost per clicks ranging from a few pence to several pounds, one-click might not sound like a big deal. However, what about when they click your ads every day? Your losses can quickly add up.

Many people think that fraudsters won’t bother with a small ad campaign, but the truth is they’ll click every ad they can see. No matter how big your campaign is or how much you are spending per click, every PPC campaign is at risk of experiencing click fraud.

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