Click Spamming And SEO

Abisola Tanzako | Apr 26, 2023

Bots and invalid users on the internet frequently interact with the websites organizations use to run their businesses. This massive process is known as the fake web. It drains ad budget, messes up important metrics, invades the database, and makes it increasingly challenging to run a business online. It can sometimes be difficult to handle the issues that stem from the fake web because various threats affect different types of content. 

Some of these issues include but are not limited to click farms, botnets, click spamming, account hijackers, and other forms of invalid traffic. 

We will focus on click spamming, how it works, how it affects your businesses, and how to address it. 

Click spamming malware has become a thriving problem recently, with several campaigns uncovered. Click spam is a click fraud that targets mobile apps primarily and can be exceptionally costly for advertisers. The dangerous part is that it can go on for a long time undetected by the advertising platform. 

What is Click Spamming 

Click spam is a type of click fraud. Click spam is also known as click flooding. Mobile websites or apps use malware to swamp ads or download links with automatically generated clicks. These clicks usually hijack real users’ behaviour while, in the background, an app is running. Types of click spamming include:

Click Flooding: This is when the malware app supplies multiple clicks for a single ad click.

Fake Views or Impression: The malware generates fake views on an ad without the consent of the advertisers.

Organic Poaching: The same malware takes credit for organic app download or installation.

How Does Click Spamming Work?

Click spamming is pretty straightforward. The user, apps such as a game app, utility app, beauty app, or any other exciting app, download an app. Apps themselves have in-built features that conduct activities in the background for the user. These feature includes converting views on ad to clicks, clicking on ads, etc., and connecting spam work by installing spoofing or fake downloads on an app. 

How does this happen?

  • Users download infected apps unknowingly on their device
  • This infected app has an in-built code that creates multiple clicks on ads or permits an external device to click in the app
  •  All the clicks are assigned to a particular click spammer, and if there are in-app purchase, download, or ad clicks, the spammer gets the payout
  • Beyond defrauding ad marketers of the money spent on ads, click spam also makes click data irregular, making platforms look more effective than they usually are.

The direct implication is that when a user downloads an app that runs in the background, it could translate to depleted device battery life and slower device performance. Still, for advertisers, you would see a lot of activity on your ads but with no corresponding ad conversion. Sometimes when modifications are made, they may need to be allocated correctly, and there is a high chance that spoofed clicks will increase before any conversion.

The Relationship between Click Spamming and SEO

Malicious users/malware can also hijack organic links. Organic links include anything a user clicks on outside paid promotions or ads. For instance, a link shared on someone’s social media platform, a link to an article, or a link search engine result page of a non-paid section. 

Where click spamming targets organic results, it also presents a false reality to the business owner. Organic traffic increases without visible conversions. 

When a business invests heavily in SEO to drive organic traffic, seeing an influx in organic traffic will trigger some hope, leading the business owner to believe that their efforts are finally paying off when it could, in fact, be malware spamming the website.

Click spamming happens in a paid ad when a malicious user imitates a genuine user or has access to simple clicks by malware installation on their device. This also applies to SEO marketing efforts and can significantly affect your marketing.

How Do You Stop Click Spamming?

Click spamming is a form of ad fraud that can be stopped using anti-fraud software. It is also possible to stop clicking spam manually, but that will be highly hinged on guesswork, extended time, and analysis. An anti-click fraud software that is time and cost-effective such as ClickPatrol, can help you accurately spot fake clicks. With this software, you can block multiple clicks from a similar source within a stipulated time- which is how clicking spamming usually works.  

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