It doesn’t matter how much you are investing in PPC; the Ad frauds have a devastating effect on your paid campaigns.
FACT: Nearly 20% of all PPC ad clicks are done by click fraud!
It’s crucial to deal with the click fraud that affects your paid marketing outcomes and degrades the expected results. With click frauds, your current ROI is always less than the actual ROI. So, handling Ad fraud is always an important aspect that you shouldn’t neglect. Instead, you must find effective ways to curb and omit click frauds to save your PPC campaigns from unexpected results.
Click fraud isn’t a single trouble; instead, it is an umbrella term that encompasses multiple troubles.
What is a Click Fraud?
As the name clarifies everything, click fraud is the illegal act of clicking on PPC ads to either exhaust advertiser’s budget or boost your site revenue. Remember, click frauds are not the same as invalid clicks.
Invalid clicks are the repeated clicks made by the host on their own PPC Ads. Click Fraud instead is made intentionally that has no motive to promote your sales. Typically click frauds include a human, computer program, or any automated script that pretends to be a legit user and clicks on your Ads intentionally.
Now you are alert about these click frauds; it’s time to discuss different types of click frauds that can ruin your PPC campaign outcomes.
Interestingly, this article will also include the simple yet proven ways to shield your Paid campaigns against these click frauds. So, let’s first check out common types of Ad fraud.
Do you know that bots account for nearly 40% of internet traffic?
They have a high potential to minimize human involvement in your website, apps, and even paid ads. However, bad bots are a critical concern for every marketer. Overall it results in a degradation of your Ads performance.
Bad bots are malicious scripts that are developed to create repetitive tasks on your ads at a fast rate. This results in tons of fraud clicks without conversion and hence causes a significant amount to drain out quickly.
Bad bots are not directly the reason behind your underperforming ads. Instead, they drain your budget by repeatedly clicking on your ads, making it challenging to meet the expectations and profit from your PPC Campaigns.
The concept of click farms is similar to bad bots that click on your paid ads faster. However, click farms don’t include any bots; instead, humans are the culprit here. In many countries where internet rules are not strict (like China, Philippines, etc.), a team of people is paid for manually clicking on competitors Ads and degrading their outcomes.
Click farm includes humans that manually click on your ads and make them ineffective. Being manual, without using any software/tool/script, it becomes tough to detect them and block them from draining your PPC Ad budget.
Data Center Traffic:
Data Centers have become a big hurdle for companies running paid advertisements. Data centers are the best medium used by fraudsters as it provides a perfect infrastructure for various fraud schemes and high-speed internet.
Fraudsters use data centers with proxy VPNs to attack the PPC campaigns anonymously. They run malicious automated software through such centers that cause multiple hits to the paid campaigns and dilute the entire budget without delivering fruitful results. In the recent past, numerous fraudulent operations have been exposed that were using cloud servers to run browsers and generate illegal mobile/desktop traffic. However, numerous other data centers are still running anonymously across the globe.
Click spamming is yet another big hurdle for the PPC experts investing significant amounts on paid campaigns. Click spamming includes real clicks by humans who haven’t created the ads.
Click spamming typically happens on the web pages where fraudsters are already active. They can perform fake clicks, send clicks to invisible ads and send clicks to random vendors (getting payout in exchange).
This is also a common practice that drains your paid budget and restricts you from getting the expected paid results.
Geomasking is hiding your geo-location and using any other global location to make fake clicks. VPNs are highly used. The basic concept behind geo-masking is hiding your physical location and using anonymous location to make fraud clicks on your paid ads. Many PPC campaigns run with location-based restrictions. Fraudsters use VPN to make false clicks through that location and damage your paid campaigns.
Further, using geo-masking helps keep their identity private. This way, it’s tough to find them and block them from clicking your PPC Ads.
It is also known as affiliate fraud, as affiliate links are typically used to boost sales & signups. However, affiliates do not always use a legit source to drive traffic or conversion. Instead, they use unethical mediums to increase their sales.
In impression fraud, people work with companies that are not directly capable of driving valuable traffic/clicks on your landing page. Instead, you only use the company’s reputation to draw users onto your page.
However, this is never a professional and authentic process as it boosts the bounce rate and minimizes your conversion rate. Above all, your prime keywords never earn a high CTR.
This brings the end to common Ad frauds that you can witness on your PPC Ads.
You are now aware of all common Ad fraud that can harm your PPC Campaigns. Now comes the question of how you can determine whether your campaigns are affected by this attack or not.
Below are common scenarios that can help you predict fraud cases.
- Large spikes of clicks on your PPC Ads.
- Lower conversion rate than expected.
- Getting traffic from unusual geo-locations.
- Decreased page views in comparison to click spikes.
- High bounce rate despite tons of clicks on your PPC Ads.
These are the only short-hand tactics that can help you find Ad fraud on your PPC Campaigns. Now have you ever thought about who the real culprit is behind Ad frauds? Let us help you introduce them.
There isn’t a single team responsible for the click fraud against your paid efforts. Instead, there might be different people who make this happen. The most common culprits are:
Your competitors always have a high tendency to keep track of your hard work and dump them whenever possible. This case arises only when they don’t have enough potential to outrank your efforts with white-hat practices.
Regardless of the competition, everyone wants to stop one and put their efforts to attain it. However, all your competitors (including you) can’t retain the top position. Here comes the battle for cheating.
Competitors ruin your PPC Campaigns through click fraud and exhaust your budget before the day ends. This is the best way (for fake businesses) to omit you from the list and get the top PPC slot in Search Results.
In short, your competitors always have a solid motive to degrade your paid efforts and derail your paid efforts.
Yes! You might be amazed to know that even webmasters sometimes click their own ads. Interestingly, webmasters mostly prefer clicking on the display network option.
Many web admins run PPC Ads to drive traffic to their websites. The reason behind this is boosting traffic and simultaneously earnings. They apply for Adsense and then run paid ads to increase the traffic.
However, lack of clicks compels them to find another way to increase the website traffic, and hence they start clicking on the paid ads.
FACT: Google always pays you 68% of the total earnings made in a single month.
Hence, they continue clicking on their ads to make money through Adsense. Isn’t that weird?
Typically, every business has numerous unsatisfied customers who have no more interest in your services. Today it’s tough to take revenge from big brands, and hence they find a smart way to satisfy their revenge.
Disgruntled customers make intentional clicks on the paid ads and exhaust the budget before its end time.
Having unsatisfied customers can be problematic for your paid campaigns if you work on costly Ad keywords and expect concise results.
Don’t worry; these types of click frauds are rare and don’t damage your PPC marketing strategy much.
Now, it’s time to find the best and effective remedy to these hurdles.
Option 1: Setup IP Exclusion in Google Ads
If you have researched well and found a specific list of IPs attacking your paid Ads, you have the answer to omit it. Yes, we are talking about IP Exclusion in Google Ads. Follow the steps mentioned below to exclude specific IPs from Ads.
- Sign in to your Google Ads
- In the page menu on the left, click Settings.
- Select the campaign you’d like to exclude IP addresses from.
- Click to expand the “IP exclusions” section. …
- Enter the IP addresses you want to exclude from seeing your ads.
- Click Save.
Option 2: Run Google Display Network (GDN) Remarketing Campaigns
Another great way to solve the click fraud issue is only targeting loyal and returning customers to do your business. You can take advantage of remarketing campaigns to run Ads for selective audiences.
Running remarketing Ads will work wonders as you only showcase your ads to the interested customers who can take your service/products. In short, you have an almost negligible risk of getting any click fraud.
Option 3: Tweak Your Ad Targeting
Sometimes all it takes is minor tweaks in your ad targeting that help you narrow down your audience and target potential audience in the region. If you examine click-frauds from a specific geo-location, it’s good to exclude the location and keep serving users of other potential locations.
This is a good practice that needs a regular eye on the PPC Ads.
If you are sure enough about competitors attacking your paid campaigns, better to restrict their ZIP code and keep serving your ads to other zip codes.
You need to keep track of what’s happening to your paid ads and who is creating a danger. Regular tweaks can help you overcome such hurdles and keep your PPC ROI clean & above expectation.
So, this is all about the common Ad Frauds that can drain your PPC investment and deliver decreased ROI than expected. That’s why you are always suggested to keep a keen eye on the PPC Campaigns and analyze them regularly.
In case you find any discrepancy, do the treatment immediately. Typically every business running PPC Ad campaigns either has dedicated PPC Experts in-house. However, if you don’t have one and are worried about the Ad Click frauds, you need a Google ads management agency that can benefit your investment with the right outcomes. A professional PPC expert can analyze your existing campaigns and safeguard them from upcoming click frauds.
Make investments smartly that can help you get a high ROI.