In the world of online marketing, Click Fraud is a pretty big deal. Not only can it put a dent in your profits it will also skew your data and therefore potentially make future campaigns more difficult to construct efficiently. Consumer giant Unilever has already threatened to withdraw their PPC budget due to fraudulent clicks – but there are ways to protect your ads and your budget before this last resort!
A black-hat technique, click fraud is the act of inflating the number of clicks on a PPC ad; either for the purpose of sabotaging a competitor’s budget or for generating more revenue for an ad publisher (i.e a publisher clicking ads on their own website!).
“Unusual clicks” are already monitored by Google and are often removed from a publisher’s account when they are flagged. Alternatively users of Google Adwords can also report any suspicious click levels on their PPC ads to Google themselves and will often be issued with a refund once Google has determined whether the clicks are fraudulent or not.
Google’s anti-click fraud program is certainly the most robust on the market. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put your own measures into practice to ensure you are getting accurate data and the right kind of traffic. Of course, not everyone can detect suspicious clicks, interpret the data given to them in their reports or exclude bad bots from traffic analysis. That is why a professional SEO analyst is a must when it comes to monitoring, managing and protecting your PPC campaigns. Not to mention, a strong organic presence on search engines will save you the headache of fraudulent clicks eating up your PPC budget!
If you still feel as though you want to take the DIY approach, one of the simplest tips is to utilise IP exclusions in AdWords – This requires you to have identified the IP address linked to the fraudulent clicks, but once you have, you can block your content from being served to that IP address in the future. Simple!