How Much Is Click Fraud Costing Me?

If you’ve been using pay per click advertising for a while, then you might be surprised to learn that an increasing number of views aren’t human.

That’s right; your valuable money could be wasted on robot visitors without you even knowing.

In a billion dollar industry, such as online digital marketing, not everything is as ethical as it seems. When there are billions of dollars to be made, everyone wants a slice.

Before you go and add more money to your AdWords campaign, have you ever thought about click fraud and how much it could be costing you? With thousands of companies competing against each other every day you’ve most likely been the victim of click fraud at some point. Not only does it negatively affect your marketing statistics but it also affects your bottom line.

So exactly how much is click fraud costing you?

What is Click Fraud?

what is click fraud

For those of you that don’t know what click fraud is, it’s the fraudulent of clicking of competitors pay per click adverts in order to waste their PPC budget. By clicking these ads, businesses are charged by the ad network for the visit, when the visitor has no intention of ever buying the product. In fact, most of these visitors aren’t even human!

In order to fraudulently click ads at such a large scale, many robots have been created to do it 24/7 targeting thousands of keywords automatically.

Obviously, this is a big problem as it means it costs you more money to capture a genuine customer and a lot of your marketing budget is wasted on non-human traffic. But just how big is this click fraud problem and should you be worried about it?

The Costs of Click Fraud are Rising

click fraud cost

In order to examine the actual impact of click fraud on digital marketing, the Association of National Advertisers teamed up with digital security company WhiteOps to do their own research. By tracking individual companies pay per click adverts over a period of time, WhiteOps was able to identify how many of the clicks were genuine visitors and how many were fraudulent.

The results were a lot worse than previously reportedly.

The study found that in 2015 around 37% of all impressions and clicks on adverts were fraudulent, compared to 22% in 2014 this is a sharp increase in click fraud. The study also suggested that based on estimates from participants examined, click fraud would cost the advertising industry $7.2 billion USD in 2016. With numerous large companies taking part in the study including Ford, Dell, Honda, McDonalds, Walmart and Unilever, click fraud is a huge problem, and no one is safe.

Another interesting trend the study uncovered is that click fraud increases the higher the cost per click or impression. Any advert over $10 per CPM saw an increase in bot visitors compared to the lower cost per click and impression ads. This means that although click fraud is seen across all adds it significantly increases on the more expensive ones.

For the 49 participants that took part in the study, fraud cost each company between $250,000 and $42,000,000 each with an average of $10,000,000 per participant! That’s a lot of money!

It’s fairly clear that billions of dollars are wasted due to click fraud every year. If the big companies are losing millions a year, then imagine how much you’re losing on your own adverts. Luckily thanks to developments in technology and software it’s possible to fight back against these fraudulent clicks.

Make Your PPC Budget Go Further

ppc budget

Now you understand how serious click fraud is and how much money is wasted on non-human traffic, it’s time to protect yourself and make your PPC budget go further.

One of the recommendations from the Association of National Advertisers was to use third party monitoring software to examine your adverts clicks and visitors. With PPC Protect we make this a breeze.

PPC Protect can be installed on any website in just a few minutes and can be used to save hundreds if not thousands of precious PPC money. With the ability to protect your adverts from malicious bots, unethical competitors and fake visitors you’ll save up to 30% of your PPC budget.

To find out how PPC Protect can protect your ads and save you money, click below to read more and try our free 30-day trial.