To Fight Click Fraud In Google Adwords
How To Fight Click Fraud In Google Adwords
Click fraud is a very real concern for anybody who is doing pay
per click marketing. Click fraud involves any artificially created
click on your ad. A human being can create these clicks, or a software
program called a clickbot can create them.
These clicks unfortunately cost you money.
The hard part is identifying click fraud. In order to do this you
need to constantly monitor your campaigns, keeping a watchful eye
out for any abnormalities. You need to pay attention to your campaign’s
established trends and watch for any divergence in those trends.
For example, suppose you have an Adgroup that averages an 8% CTR.
Minor variations to this CTR are normal and expected. What happens,
however, if this Adgroup spikes to a 15% CTR without warning? What
do you do?
The first thing you need to do in such a case is check to see if
there are any logical reasons for this spike. For example, was there
some media coverage on your industry that would cause an increase
in searches for your keywords?
There can be perfectly reasonable explanations for unexpected traffic
spikes. Did you experience an increase in sales? This is another
good indicator of real traffic. If your sales correspond to your
traffic everything should be fine.
If the traffic still seems fraudulent you need to gather as much
information as possible on the incident. Record the time period
when it happened and what keywords were affected. Check your server
logs and look for any suspicious looking IP addresses or user agents.
Once you have collected all relevant information you need to contact
Google support and allow them to take over the investigation. They
will want access to your server logs and any other pertinent information.
They are very good at what they do, and you need to be patient as
their investigation can take some time.
For example, at one point I had gone away on a camping trip and
had no access to a computer, or an Internet connection to monitor
my campaigns. When I returned I found the costs and traffic associated
with one campaign had spiked dramatically, costing me several thousand
I instantly knew that a click bot hit me. I contacted Google and
an investigation was started. A few months later the investigation
was concluded and it was verified that I was the victim of click
fraud. I was reimbursed for all the money the click fraud had cost
me and life went on.
If you spot click fraud Google is very competent with their investigation
and they will reimburse you if click fraud is indeed proven. If
it is determined that click fraud did not occur, you will be given
an explanation describing how this was determined.
There are many different reasons for click fraud. The most common
is for financial gain. This usually occurs on the content network.
Here people get paid every time someone clicks on a Google Adsense
ad on their site. Some people get greedy and try generating artificial
clicks in order to make more money. Sometimes they try to click
on the ads themselves, but this doesn’t work well because
of the repetitive IP address.
Software programs called click bots might be used. These programs
use multiple proxy servers to beat the repetitive IP problem, and
can also randomize behaviour to make the traffic seem more natural.
These programs vary in sophistication and are harder to spot.
In the recent past it was discovered that there are companies in
places like India, where labour is very cheap, which use real people
to click on ads. These people are spread out in different locations
making the IP addresses all different and non-proxy. Moreover, they
are real humans so their actions can seem more natural. This scheme
can also be difficult to spot.
Other reasons for click fraud include malicious competitors. In
this case a competitor wants you to either stop advertising on a
keyword, or lower your bid. This often happens as a result of bidding
wars. It also often takes place on the actual search pages. Any
of the various methods of generating artificial clicks can be used,
and the result is still the same. Increased costs.
About the Author
George Peters is a
professional Internet marketer and pay per click advertising expert.
His website is located at http://CPCSecrets.com.