Adwords Adsense PPC Click Fraud

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Seo Click Fraud is one of the most serious issues effecting both Google Adwords and Google Adsense.  SEO Click Fraud is also evident on other search engines like Yahoo, MSN. The issue of Click Fraud is giving sleepless nights to several companies who spend thousands of dollars on their online marketing.

What is exactly meant by Click Fraud?

SEO Click Fraud is more like a hallucination. Website owners get impression that they are receiving legitimate clicks through Adsense/Adwords. However, the story is completely different.

SEO Click Fraud is more like a fake click for which a particular company has to pay to Google or Yahoo. This fake click is not generated by legitimate customer/client. If you log into your analytic section you will clearly observe a clicks which never got converted into lead. The bigger problem than click fraud is incapability of search engines to detect click fraud.

What are the indications of Click Fraud or Fake Click?

There are various benchmark tests which you can follow to detect fake clicks. These are as given below:-

1) If you observe a unusual click trend or CTR ( Click Through Rate) in your adwords account, then it could be an indication of click fraud. You should manually monitor your adwords account to detect click fraud. In case you observe a sudden increase in no. of clicks within a short timeframe of 15-30 minutes during a day, then it could an indication of unusual click trend. Moreover if none of those clicks actually convert into lead, then it could be an indication of click fraud.

2) You are receiving 5000-15000 clicks from adsense, but none of those clicks actually get converted into lead. Moreover, if you observe sudden drop in conversion rates, then it could be an indication of click fraud.

3) If you observe your Google analytic section, you will clearly come to know how many pages were visited by a particular user. Moreover you will get to see how many minutes that particular user stayed on your website. If you observe 1 page/ 0 minutes, then it could be an indication of click fraud.

4) Normally fake clicks originate from 1 or 2 particular locations (depending upon your competitors/industry). If you observe a regular pattern of several clicks from one geo location, but none of those actually converting into lead, then it could be an indication of click fraud. You should keep tabs on clicks from suspicious or untraceable I.P addresses.

There are business sectors like online gaming, seo marketing, website development where click fraud is really high. Click Fraud is also evident in other business fields.
5) Use advance tracking codes to keep tabs on your online visitors. Google analytic coding is fine, but you can also use some other effective and efficient track codes. You can also use conversion tracking codes to detect clicks which are converting into leads/sales. This conversion tracking is available within Google adwords account.

6) Click Fraud detection should be a part of your PPC Marketing policy. You should keep close watch on issues like click fraud.

What should I do, if I detect any click fraud ?

  1. a) You should make sure that you are targeting right set of keywords for right set of audience. If you are selling pizza pizza.gif , then it makes no sense to target keywords related to Pop-Corns popcorn.gifTargeting wrong keywords will always result in lower conversion rates and higher clicks.

    b) Use advanced online tracking codes from google analytics or some other. You should keep a close watch on your daily/hourly stats, if you observe any unusual click behaviour.

    c) Target specific cities/locations, rather than targeting whole country. This will lower click fraud to a great extent. If you are a lawyer who is based in New York, then concentrate on regions nearby New York rather than whole US ( since you know that 90% of your potential clients will be from regions around New York)

Who could be behind click Fraud of my company’s website. I got kicked out of my job last month since conversion ratios suddenly dropped in the last few months. kickass.gif

SEO Click Fraud could be triggered by your company’s competitor, competitors of your hired marketing company, or any other. This type of click fraud is even harder to monitor since you are unable to trace the real culprits. Click Fraud could be triggered by following parties:-

Competitors of adword advertisers: Their sole intention is to harm a competitor who is “unluckily” advertising within the same niche market. These culprits will click on their competitors PPC ads. The real objective of these perpetrators is to force advertiser to pay for invalid or irrelevant clicks thus weakening or reducing a source of competition.

 Competitors of adsense publishers: These persons may wish to frame an online website which generates revenue through adsense and other banner advertising. It is made to look like the website owner is clicking on its own ads to make profits. The advertising network may then terminate the relationship with that particular website. Many online websites and publishers rely exclusively on revenue from advertising and can be put out of business by Click Fraud.

Other malicious guys: There are several people who wish to cause harm to either an advertiser or a publisher. These people do not have any financial motives. Their motive could be political or personal rivalry.

Unwanted “friends” of the publisher:
Sometimes your fan, family member or a personal friend will click on your online ads to help you generate more profit. However this action can backfire where the publisher has to face the brunt of click fraud by their advertisers.

We are sure that addressing these issues will help you lower click fraud to a great extent. Every coin has two sides, and this rule is applicable to PPC too. However, you can minimize fake clicks by following these simple instructions.

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