Taking The Fight To Click Fraud in Google AdWords
Click fraud is a significant problem for anyone doing CPC marketing. The act of click fraud is perpetrated when clicks are artificially created on your ads. These clicks can be generated by humans or with the use of software like clickbot. These clicks cost money and are hard to identify.
To identify click fraud, one must constantly monitor campaigns and keep an eye out for any irregularities. You need to study your campaign’s established trends and watch out for any changes in those trends. Let’s say you have an AdGroup with an average of 10% CTR as the established trend which all of a sudden, spikes to 20% CTR without warning, you have to check things out.
Some of the probable causes you can look out for would be:
- New media coverage on your industry which could lead to an increase in your keyword search
- A corresponding increase in sales which is an indication of real traffic.
If any of these things seem not to be the case, you have to gather certain information like:
- The time of the spike
- Affected keywords
- Suspicious looking IP addresses or user agents.
So What Next…..
Once you have gathered such information, you need to send it to Google support for further investigation. You would need to give them access to your server logs as well as other relevant information. This investigation might take some time, but eventually, they would get to the bottom of the situation.
One thing with spotting click fraud is that the culprits would have their AdSense disabled, and Google would refund the money you have lost to click fraud. On the other hand, if it is not click fraud, then you would be given a logical explanation with regards to the situation of things.
There are many reasons for click fraud, but a significant reason for click fraud is for financial gain. Most people in the content network get paid every time someone clicks on a Google AdSense Ad on their website. In a bid to make more money, they devise means to generate more artificially generated clicks to make more money.
How they do this is to have a network of individuals with the same goal. These individuals come together with new IP addresses clicking for one another and defeating the repetitive IP address problem – New IP addresses can be generated with the use of a VPN.
This situation has become so prominent that there are individual companies in locations like India, who employ people at different locations to click on ads for them. These people are spread out to different areas making their IP addresses non-proxy, real, and difficult to spot.
Other reasons for click fraud include spiteful competitors who want the cost of advertising to rise, thereby stopping you from advertising on that particular keyword. This happens most times as a result of bidding wars. It also occurs on actual search pages as well. Any methods of generating artificial clicks can be used by many individuals, which results in increased costs for advertisers.
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