How To Block VPN Traffic On Your Google Ads
Abisola Tazanko | Sep 06, 2023
Do you need to block VPN traffic?
The use of VPNs has become increasingly popular with each passing year. This is because there is a rise in privacy awareness, and everyone is learning to protect themselves on the internet. However, only some people using VPNs have good intentions; it can be used as a tool to harm your ad campaigns and make you lose a lot of money.
Let’s talk about how a VPN can affect your Google ad, how to block traffic from a VPN, and how to protect your revenue and business.
What is VPN?
VPN means virtual Private Network. A VPN is software that hides a computer system’s IP (internet protocol address). That means VPN users can surf the internet anonymously because all the data left on various sites while surfing will not be traced or linked to them. People have justifiable reasons why they use VPNs these days, and of course, some people use VPNs for malicious reasons.
Some people may want to hide their identity while browsing freely on the net if they live under an oppressive regime that hinders them from doing so. Some other people may wish to deceive service providers, such as YouTube, Netflix, etc., into thinking they are accessing their service from a location different from their original location to give them complete access.
These are justifiable reasons why anyone would use VPN because that will hardly pose a threat. However, due to the anonymity provided by VPN users, fraudulent people have taken advantage of that to engage in various sinister activities. These sinister activities include movie and music piracy, illegal pornography distribution, and other fraudulent activities like click fraud.
Are all VPN traffic fraudulent?
No, not all VPN traffic is fraudulent. We all know someone who uses VPN for protection or discretionary purposes, which is why most people consider VPN an excellent tool for actual goals, which it is, but fraudulent people would continue using the software to carry out their fraudulent activities.
Should I block VPN traffic on my Google ads?
As previously mentioned, not all VPN traffic is fraudulent or will engage in illegal activities, so the question of whether or not to block out all VPN traffic is tricky. This is because some people genuinely worry about their online privacy.
Some feel uncomfortable with the amount of data required by most service providers, especially those from oppressive and invasive countries. However, even though these people contribute to the number of genuine users, based on statistics, most VPN users have malicious intent.
Note that your ad relies on people clicking and purchasing your goods and services. Those who click on your ad without purchasing your goods or services make you lose money. It is essential to note the notion that those using VPNs non-maliciously do so because of their online privacy concerns. If they have such concerns about online privacy, they may have concerns about online purchases.
Anyone concerned about their online privacy is likely to have an issue with sharing their bank details, address, name, phone number, and others to purchase something online. In this case, it is safe to ban all VPN users. The potential damage caused by click fraud far outweighs the benefits that can come from a few VPN users’ legitimate views. It could be a tough call, but it is better to block them all out when the stakes are high.
How do I block out VPN traffic on my Google ad?
The best way to block out VPN traffic is through click fraud prevention software. This is because the IP address of VPN users can be changed as many times as they want, automatically making blocking specific IP addresses difficult, if not impossible.
One way to help is to block all countries outside your Google ad target audience. This way, you can reduce the chances of ad molestation by fraudsters. However, if their VPN is good, they would have no difficulty switching from one IP address to another within the same country. As this method is inadequate, the best way is to use fraud protection and prevention software.
With ClickPatrol, you can easily block all VPN traffic from accessing your ads in one click. Fraudsters using VPNs and other tools to carry out their fraudulent activities can be spotted quickly by ClickPatrol, even with their masked identities, and blocked before they harm your business, saving you the money you would have lost.
How do I spot VPN traffic?
By now, you already know that is a tricky thing to do. It is tough to identify VPN traffic because IP addresses and locations can change in a few seconds, and their users can switch servers as quickly as switching shoes.
So one thing fraudsters can’t change as easily or as quickly as their IP address or location is their phone, which leaves a footprint of their presence.
Some special fraud prevention software like ClickPatrol scans IP addresses for over 800 characteristics that gives an accurate detection of a VPN device regardless of location change.
While blocking VPN traffic from clicking on your Google ads is a potential solution to prevent fraudulent activity, it is a complex and challenging task. Implementing a blanket ban on VPN traffic could inadvertently exclude legitimate users and hinder advertising reach. Additionally, identifying and blocking VPN traffic is difficult due to obfuscation techniques and dynamic IP addresses. Instead, focusing on other strategies, such as click fraud detection systems and monitoring user behaviour, is recommended. Balancing security measures and maintaining a positive user experience while adhering to Google’s advertising guidelines is essential.