What is PPC Click Fraud
PPC (Pay-per-click) click fraud is a type of online advertising fraud in which fake clicks are generated on PPC ads, resulting in advertisers paying for clicks that have no real value. This is typically done through the use of bots, automated scripts, or fraudulent websites, which mimic the behavior of real users and generate clicks on PPC ads. In most cases removing the unknown audience will remove most if not all click fraud.
The goal of PPC click fraud is to defraud advertisers and drain their advertising budgets, without providing any actual value in terms of conversions or customer acquisition. PPC click fraud is a major concern for advertisers and can significantly impact the effectiveness and profitability of their advertising campaigns, making it important for them to take measures to prevent and detect this type of fraud. Here’s what Google says about click fraud.
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What do PPC click fraud protection services claim to do?
PPC click fraud protection services claim to provide a solution to protect advertisers from the negative effects of PPC click fraud. They claim to use
various techniques, such as sophisticated algorithms and machine learning, to detect and prevent fake clicks in real-time. These services typically claim to be able to identify and block fraudulent clicks from bots, competitors, or other malicious actors, and ensure that advertisers only pay for genuine, valuable clicks from real users.
Additionally, some PPC click fraud protection services also offer detailed reporting and analytics, allowing advertisers to see the performance of their campaigns and identify any potential click fraud. Some services also provide a refund or credit for any fraudulent clicks that may have slipped through their filters.
In summary, PPC click fraud protection services claim to offer a comprehensive solution to protect advertisers from the negative effects of PPC click fraud and to ensure that they receive the best return on their advertising investment.
Why click fraud protection doesn't work.
Click fraud protection services do not always work for a number of reasons, including:
- They mainly work by blocking IP addresses however these days the bots can acquire thousands of new IP addresses in seconds.
- Evolving Fraud Techniques: Fraudsters are constantly developing new techniques to bypass click fraud protection measures, making it difficult for these services to keep up.
- Inadequate Detection Methods: Some click fraud protection services use basic algorithms or rules-based systems, which can be easily bypassed by sophisticated fraudsters.
4. Limited Coverage: Some click fraud protection services may only cover a limited set of fraud types,
leaving advertisers vulnerable to other forms of fraud.
5. False Positives: Some click fraud protection services may flag legitimate clicks as fraudulent, leading to the blocking of valuable traffic and hurting the performance of an advertiser’s campaigns.
6. Dependence on Third-party Data: Some click fraud protection services rely on third-party data, which can be unreliable or outdated, leading to inaccurate results.
Overall, while click fraud protection services may provide some level of protection, they are not a guaranteed solution to the problem of PPC click fraud. It is important for advertisers to use a combination of approaches, such as regular monitoring, identifying and blocking suspicious IP addresses, and using multiple fraud protection services to maximize their protection against click fraud.
Want to make more revenue?
How to stop PPC click fraud from happening
It’s simpler than you think. You need to go to your audiences in Google Ads and remove the unknown. This will impact your traffic but I will cover that shortly. In the audiences section, pick the ad group, and deselect unknown in age and gender. This removes the people (and bots) who are not logged into any Google product including YouTube, Gmail, and anything Google related. Repeat this for every ad group.
This works to remove PPC click fraud because the bots at the time of writing this post do not sign into any Google accounts resulting in Google Ads simply filtering them out.
What negative effects could there be removing the unknown audience?
It depends on your customer type so B2B and B2C. Meaning the adverse effects would be minimal.
B2C is less affected because most people on their personal devices will be logged into at least one Google service.
B2B, the adverse effects may be more impactful because some staff may not be able to log into personal accounts and may not have a work Google account. Although in this day and age, a majority of staff will be logged in at least one account.
If you’re getting a lot of click fraud then this could be impacting your CTR making it higher than it should be. So making this change could lower your CTR indirectly making your CPC higher. Is it worth the risk? Yes! This skews your data and makes it difficult or impossible to do effective AB testing.
Want to make more revenue?
Fix your PPC click fraud without committing to making permanent changes with a Google Ads experiment.
Use the Google Ads experiment to test the effects of removing the unknown audience. Create a custom experiment and remove the unknown audience. Ideally, you would wait until you have 2000 impressions before you make a decision. I would also check 24hs after this is set up to ensure it has been set up correctly.
What should I expect in the long run?
By taking these steps, you can reduce or eliminate the long-term effects of click fraud and ensure that your PPC campaigns are protected and performing effectively. Reducing/eliminating click fraud will mean that your budget will now be used for real users who may wish to purchase your product/service. Your AB testing will get more accurate and you will be able to optimize for conversions.
Want to make more revenue?
In conclusion, PPC click fraud is a serious issue that can negatively impact the performance of an advertiser’s campaigns and waste their advertising budget. While PPC click fraud protection services can provide some level of protection, they are not a guaranteed solution to the problem. Advertisers need to use a combination of approaches, such as regular monitoring, IP blocking, and utilizing multiple fraud protection services, to effectively mitigate the impact of click fraud. Additionally, implementing anti-fraud measures in your advertising platform, educating yourself on current fraud techniques, limiting targeting options, using conversion tracking, and working with a trusted partner can also help to reduce the risk of click fraud and ensure that your PPC campaigns are protected and performing effectively. By taking these steps, you can increase your chances of running successful and cost-effective PPC campaigns.