Is Google Ads Click Protection Necessary?

Abisola Tanzako | Aug 16, 2023

Advertisers all over the world have asked this important question: Is Google Ads click protection necessary?

Although click fraud doesn’t fall under ‘another business cost’, you must take it very seriously. Google is undoubtedly the dominant digital marketplace in this century, but that doesn’t excuse the presence of click fraud on your webpage.

The truth is that fraudulent people are always looking to make quick cash, and their activities affect the score of your website and brand. To prevent these activities from negatively affecting your website, you need to know what causes them and how to prevent your webpage from receiving such clicks.

What is click fraud?

Click fraud is the fraudulent clicking on ads with no intention of making a purchase. Cybercriminals take advantage of your ads by intentionally clicking on them without the intention of purchasing the product or service in question, thereby wiping out your advertising budget.

Such fraudulent acts may be carried out by haters, competitors, click farms and bots. About 17% of ad traffic comes from click fraud. 

Types of click fraud 

Identifying the culprits behind every fraudulent and malicious activity is essential to preventing click fraud effectively. Understanding the various behaviours of these fraudsters is crucial if you want to eliminate them. Below are the types of click fraud:

Bots 

Bots are also known as automated programs. They hijack servers and computers, generate highly bogus clicks, and cause deceptive conversions. Bots mimic human behaviour, but there are automated filters put in place by Google that help stop click fraud.

Manual clicks by webmasters 

Website owners with targeted content use the Google Display Network to push their ads on third-party websites. Web administrators own these websites, join Google AdSense, and earn about 68% of the total amount generated by ad clicks. Google put in place strict policy requirements, and if they are violated, they will be banned from AdSense. Also, Google terminates publishers immediately with fraudulent traffic, but the publishers are suspended when the traffic results from non-malicious invalid traffic.

Manual clicks by competitors 

Unfortunately, competitors who intend to run out of your revenue do this type of click fraud. They are usually competitors with the same niche and keywords as you who resort to fraudulent clicks to inflate your ad costs. Website owners who have keywords with more bidders are likely to have more intense competition. 

How to prevent click fraud

After identifying the invalid clicks, there are various ways to prevent click fraud from invading your website. However, you must find out the method that best suits you and your website. Look through the preventive methods below to stop click fraud activities on your page; 

IP exclusion in Google Adwords

If you have identified the IP addresses responsible for fraudulent clicks, you can exclude those IPAs from your Google ad. If you are getting clicks from a particular IP address but aren’t taking any action on your page, it is likely a case of fraudulent activity and should also be excluded. To exculde fradulent IPAs;

  • Go to settings
  • Select exclusion
  • Click additional settings. 
  • Select edit and manually input the IPA you want to exclude
  • Click save

The good thing is that IP address exclusion can be done in all the AdWords campaigns, which means you can block all fraudulent IPAs and potentially fraudulent IPAs across all your movements. Unfortunately, some fraudsters know they can be easily detected. Therefore, they resort to using IP hopping tools to avoid detection, but they can still be stopped by using third-party tools or keeping a tab on IPAs and source cookies’ unique ID numbers on your landing page. 

Observe timestamp

Keep a close eye on the active timestamps of a user, starting from their visit to your webpage until they take any action. This is essential to protecting your Google ad because users with malicious intent will only click on your ad without taking any follow-up action. When you notice this, it is best to block that user to protect your website.

Use Google Anyalitics

Many people use Google Analytics to prevent fraudulent activity. Beyond tracking your webpage’s performance and keywords, Google Analytics highlights repetitive clicks from suspicious IPAs. Your AdWords can ensure you are not paying for any unknown fraudulent activity. To do this,

  • Go to tools
  • Select setup
  • Click on billing and payments 
  • Select view transaction and document 
  • Click on invalid activity. You will find all invalid links here.

Go for the Google display network remarketing campaign

Display network remarketing allows users to see only the ads they are interested in. This way, advertisers can easily avoid click fraud since fraudsters cannot see the ads. There are companies that offer this service- display network marketing, and they can help you with this method. 

Use specific pay-per-click keyword

Use specific keywords only. Limit your ad by targeting a specific industry instead of different niches. Having a clear audience helps produce genuine traffic, which leads to an increased conversion rate.

Check user’s behaviour regularly 

Spend time on your PPC ads daily to identify keywords and advertisements that generate the most conversions on your website. Studying users’ behaviour on search engines will help you know what drives users towards your brand and service. However, if you notice similar fraudulent activities, stop your campaigns from showing on their screens immediately.

Ad targeting

You need to block that location when you notice high invalid activity in a particular geographical zone (mainly if your business doesn’t operate there). Usually, these zones use click farms to carry out these clicks. Click farms are places where real people are put in a specific location to click on ads continually. This is done labour cheap countries like China, the Philippines, etc. Exclude the zone from the ‘location’ section to dodge such clicks. You can also exclude the respective languages. This prevention process, called ad targeting, ensures that traffic that brings high conversions is not blocked.

Set a budget

Set a maximum budget for your daily online marketing. This way, when running an ad, you can control click fraud and monitor your expenditures.

Fraud detection software 

This method was the most effective way to protect your website from click fraud. Various detection software options, such as clickpatrol.com, are available to solve your click fraud issue on your ads. This software identifies users who intend to use invalid clicks on your site and monitors your ads and traffic. A good fraud detection software will block click fraud from clicking your ads in real time. This software is the most advanced way to handle click fraud and saves you time.

Final notes…

Protecting your Google ad from click fraud is essential for maximizing ad campaign effectiveness. These invalid clicks can damage your ad so much that they deplete your budget and impede the accuracy of your Google analysis. Deploy one or more preventive methods to protect your Google ad from fraud, especially the fraud detection software. This way, you can save your Google ad campaign and improve its effectiveness.

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