The preferred digital marketing strategy for the past decade has been pay-per-click advertising. PPC has expanded into a sizable portion of the advertising market.
However, click fraud exists everywhere there is pay-per-click digital advertising. With the expansion of pay-per-click advertising and digital marketing, click fraud is predicted to increase.
Click fraud is not a recent phenomenon; Industry players first noted PPC click fraud almost a decade ago, and as the industry grows, click fraud has scaled.
The actual issue is the scale at which click fraud is currently occurring, with budget losses (up to 20%) anticipated annually for the digital marketing industry.
There are three main types of click fraud based on the motive and end goal.
They are perpetrated via different channels, including botnets, click farms, Click Crowdsourcing, incentivized traffic, etc.
A significant revenue source in the digital marketing and advertising space is the affiliate model/content channels. Search advertisements appear on third-party affiliate websites, and these website owners get compensated on a pay-per-click model. These third-party website owners often click on the ads to inflate their revenues.
Competitors are notorious for attempting to use up their rivals’ ad budgets without any intention to purchase. Once a rival’s ad budget is depleted, their ads stop running, leaving the competitors’ ads running, inadvertently increasing their ad budgets and reducing their profit.
Disgruntled Former Employees
Disgruntled employees and customers are responsible for a small percentage of click fraud. This form of click fraud has gained more attention over time and is becoming a concern for business owners.
In the past, there was news about disgruntled French workers inserting their wooden shoes (sabots) into machines to obstruct or sabotage’ them.
This article will show you how to detect click fraud and guide you in determining whether the campaigns you are running are targeted.
Unusual Increases in click-through rates (CTR) are frequent signs that you have been the victim of click fraud.
As a publisher of ads in the advertising market, you can utilize these insights to detect click fraud.
Each PPC click on your website contains a unique identifier (IP address). Verifying the IP addresses of the devices clicking your ad is the easiest way to detect click fraud.
If the IP addresses are associated with a business or personal computer, it is more likely a real individual or a valid click.
If an IP is traced to a server or a data center, it is unquestionably a bot and an invalid click.
It is important to note that fraudsters try to make their clicks as human as possible. Click farms have actual humans clicking on ads via computers or mobile phones. Thus this method may not be reliable for detecting 100% of click fraud.
If you think click fraud may have affected your campaigns. Run your server logs through detection software after downloading them to give you an insight into the percentage of invalid clicks from IPs that can be blacklisted.
To determine whether those IP addresses are perhaps suspicious, look for any patterns.
Are many clicks coming from the same IP in a specific pattern?
Is the traffic coming from a location you are not advertising in?
Is the same subnet of IPs used for the clicks?
These are pointers that can help you determine if IPs are genuine.
Also, add visitor labels.
You can track visitors as they enter, exit, and revisit your website using Visitor Labels, which let you add comprehensive information about each visitor.
Labels also help identify an IP address that you believe is clicking on your adverts inadvertently.
Then, you may restrict your ad network from displaying your ads to visitors on a particular label.
Checking your CTR will help you determine whether click fraud will affect you.
Most ad brands know that the click-through rate tends to increase with the number of fraudulent clickers; something relatively high or even too low will typically indicate bots activity or click fraud.
Watch your campaign’s CTR to see whether it spikes dramatically on any particular occasion, and compare it to the CTR of other campaigns of the same kind. Are they significantly alike or quite different?
Checking your CTR is an excellent way to tell if you’ve fallen victim to click fraud.
Campaigns with a high click fraud rate are likely to have a high bounce rate.
Another effective method of detecting click fraud is analyzing advertisements and abnormally high bounce rates.
Generally, higher bounce rates occur because clickers interacting with your marketing campaign view the site differently than a regular user would. They primarily observe and exit (Click and go).
Third-party tools act as a screen between the Ad network and the advertiser. They conduct a more thorough investigation of clicks as they move from the ad network to the advertiser’s website.
Advertisers describe the effectiveness of third-party tools in PPC as the key to maximizing the benefits of online advertising.
With these tools, advertisers can not only verify each click but have complete control of who can or cannot click on their ads, using blacklist and whitelist options.
You can automate the whole click fraud detection process with click fraud detection software, eliminating fraud and unauthorized traffic from your PPC advertising.
Whenever a suspected click fraudster returns to your website, you can instruct the fully automated software to notify you or block them after a specific number of clicks.
Click Fraud detection software such as the ClickPatrol tool gives you peace of mind knowing that every budget adjustment, campaign creation, or ad you produce is generating real user engagement and conversions rather than fraudulent visits.
Although click fraud or fraudulent click activity can take many shapes and kinds of oppression, there are numerous ways to detect it before it affects your campaign, and analytics is one of them.
Despite using various techniques and technology, fraudsters leave a trail of behavioral and transactional data, which helps with click fraud detection.
Analytics tools help retrieve data records for information and help identify morphing patterns so businesses can stop click fraud as it frequently arises.
Thanks to analytics, actions can be specified when you submit your content to represent the traffic source level you are employing.
And also, keep an eye out for invalid interactions in your marketing campaigns.
Pay-per-click marketing is a fantastic method for attracting targeted traffic to your website.
However, click fraud is a severe problem that could obstruct your advertising efforts.
Anybody with bad experiences or click fraud will have their marketing budgets swept with no tangible returns to show for it.
If you believe click fraud is happening with your advertising campaigns, there are several ways to detect it and effective measures to stop it.
Ad publishers can use the above-mentioned techniques to identify click fraud and ensure that only the right people view their ads.
Evaluate them carefully to determine whether your campaigns have received fraudulent clicks.
Regularly check your advertising platform’s performance dashboards or log into your website analytics services.