Is click fraud ruining your advertising?

Is click fraud ruining your advertising?

Roy Dovaston looks at how to avoid falling prey to click fraud when using Google AdWords.

Many heating and plumbing companies spend a significant amount on Google AdWords to advertise their services and generate new business. Many companies who use what many consider as being the best advertising platform in the world for small and medium sized businesses have issues with return on investment, which leads to some companies abandoning AdWords thinking the system is flawed and doesn’t work.

In case you’re unaware of what Google AdWords is, it’s an advertising model whereby a company bids on keywords to trigger ads in Google’s search results. In the most basic example, the advertiser will set a bid on the basis of paying only if a visitor clicks on their ad (pay per click). This method of advertising is extremely powerful and is well known for generating new enquiries with the added benefit of being fully measurable.

Google AdWords largely relies on honesty and, whilst the majority of heating engineers and plumbers are honest, unfortunately there are some unscrupulous people out there that engage in an activity known as click fraud to cost advertisers dearly, whilst handing themselves a huge advantage.

Click fraud is when someone, a bot or a competitor, clicks on your Google ads in attempt to deplete your daily budget with no intention of a genuine enquiry. This can be a very costly problem and one which, if undetected, can cause financial loss.

As you’d expect, it’s not always malicious behaviour that causes excessive clicking; many clicks can be linked to bots which crawl search results and click through ads. It can also be other companies researching your services or genuine visitors who click an excessive amount of times. Unfortunately there are limited ways of eradicating the problem entirely but, with a service such as Click Guardian Pro, there is hope to identify the perpetrators and reduce the problem by automatically detecting and blocking when excessive clicking occurs.

You may have heard that Google offers an inbuilt system to deal with invalid clicks, but with all the secrecy that surrounds this system, many advertisers have completely lost faith and turn to 3rd parties where they can gather detailed information and trust that the problem is being dealt with effectively.

Click Guardian works by click data being sent to its servers, which then monitor the behaviour of the visitor to determine whether they’re legitimate. They inspect the paid click data carefully and log the paid clicks. One part of their algorithm that isn’t top secret is the way in which they allow their clients to choose how many clicks in a 24-hour period is acceptable prior to issuing a block. There is also another layer of detection which assesses paid click data over a seven-day period which stops fraudsters going under the radar. There are other mechanics to the system which are kept secret that complete the algorithm that forms a layer of protection and transparency that Google does not offer. The system is totally automated and the end result is the perpetrator being blocked from clicking on your ads, thus saving you from recurring instances of click fraud.

About the author
Having been managing Google Ads since the inception of Google AdWords, Roy is the co-owner of pay per click agency and anti-click fraud specialist In 2014 Roy realised a major issue was going undetected in the form of excessive clicks on his client’s ads. Roy joined forces with Dan, a seasoned software and app developer, to produce Click Guardian Pro, an anti-click fraud service that saves Google AdWords clients from budget-busting click fraudsters. Since then the agency has gone from strength to strength, attaining the coveted Google Certified Partner status.

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