It is estimated that every fifth click on a PPC (pay-per-click) advertisement is false. As a result, click fraud has become one of the most prevalent ad fraud strategies. Just as you have a plethora of PPC (pay-per-click) networks to pick from, fraudsters have an abundance of PPC (pay-per-click) networks to choose from as well. Digital advertising firms lose millions of dollars in income every year as a result of click fraud and invalid clicks. However, here’s where things get complicated when it comes to preventing invalid clicks: not all invalid clicks are fraudulent in nature.
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In order to effectively detect and prevent incorrect clicks, digital advertising businesses must develop a sound strategy for doing so. As a way of helping you appreciate the necessity of preventing invalid clicks, we’ll go through the consequences of click fraud as well as the best practices for detecting and preventing click fraud and invalid clicks.
- 1 What is click fraud and how does it happen?
- 2 How to prevent erroneous clicks
- 3 How to detect click fraud using the existing tests in your advertising platform
- 4 Networks of advertisements and/or affiliates
- 5 What you can do to avoid invalid clicks and ad fraud
What is click fraud and how does it happen?
When people falsely click on PPC advertisements with no intention of learning more about or purchasing a business’s products or services, they are engaging in click fraud. The primary goal of click fraud is to exhaust an advertiser’s advertising budget. Consequently, it is frequently carried out by dishonest publishers or competitors aiming to drain budgets as soon as they possibly can.
However, some of the vehicles fraudsters employ to commit click fraud include the following:
- An individual or a group of individuals is charged with continuously clicking on certain advertisements (also known as click farms).
- Computer programs that are pre-programmed (also known as bots).
- Malware-infected devices (desktop and mobile) are used to fraudulently trigger clicks on malicious websites.
Due to the fact that they are regarded Sophisticated Invalid Traffic, all of these clicks can be categorized as invalid clicks (SIVT). SIVT is deemed malicious because it is carried out through the use of malware, malicious bots, stacked advertisements, and false proxy traffic.
However, there are also cases of incorrect clicks that are not deemed to be particularly malevolent in nature as well. General Invalid Traffic is the term used to describe this type of invalid traffic (GIVT). These include unintentional ad clicks by real users as well as clicks from automated site crawlers and bots, and because they are not intended to impersonate human behavior, they are not classified as fraud.
The following are only a few of the negative consequences of invalid clicks:
- Reduced conversion rates are being observed (higher number of clicks but very few conversions).
- Advertising budgets that were squandered.
- False events cause data to be skewed and prejudiced, making it harder to determine which advertisements are effective and which are not.
How to prevent erroneous clicks
The first step in preventing invalid clicks is to identify them as soon as they happen. As click fraud and invalid clicks have become more frequent, ad networks such as Google have been compelled to address the issue….
How to detect click fraud using the existing tests in your advertising platform
Let’s take a look at how some of the most popular ad networks identify and prevent incorrect clicks from occurring. Google Ads are a type of advertisement that appears on Google’s search results page. “Invalid activity” such as bots, automated scripts, click farms, and unintentional clicks from real users can be blocked with the help of Google.
Google can restrict IP addresses that are responsible for invalid clicks on sponsored advertisements by employing its invalid click detection filter (usually those that deliver no conversions, have high bounce rates, and spend little time on the page). Search engine giant Google makes an attempt to automatically filter out incorrect clicks from reports and payments in order to prevent users from being paid for those clicks.
Advertisers may, however, notice a small number of incorrect clicks sneaking through the cracks and not being instantly repaid by the system.
Networks of advertisements and/or affiliates
Ad networks (as well as affiliate networks) constitute a scenario in which fraud is extremely commonplace. A few selected others, despite the fact that many of these networks do not fully monitor for click fraud, have created preliminary checks to help prevent click fraud. They can be seen by the end client in some cases; but, in others, they are just included as operational operations that can be optimized for genuine media buying.
Despite the fact that these platforms strive to avoid fraud, their systems are not robust enough to detect and block every invalid click that occurs. You are ultimately accountable for putting in place a cutting-edge system that serves the best interests of your organization.
What you can do to avoid invalid clicks and ad fraud
Because Google derives the majority of its revenue from advertising, it is in their best interests to combat click fraud. As a result, the company has implemented a number of effective anti-click fraud measures. While some ad networks promise to go above and beyond to prevent click fraud, a large number of invalid clicks continue to sneak between the cracks. Here are a few more suggestions for preventing invalid clicks from depleting your advertising spending.
IP addresses can be blocked manually.
Using Google Ads, you can manually add questionable IP addresses to an IP exclusion list, which will then be automatically updated. This, on the other hand, is a time-consuming activity.
Sub-publishers should be barred from publishing.
You may be able to identify some publishers whose traffic is bogus if you drill down into the data and look at it source by source. In these instances, it is preferable to block traffic from certain publishers in order to prevent malvertising and enhance your return on investment.
Make use of the proof offered by an anti-fraud solution in order to obtain refunds from the platform.
Not only can professional anti-fraud solutions ensure that you are not restricting legitimate users, but they also work to prevent click fraud from occurring in the first place by taking proactive measures. Identifying and blocking IP addresses is an important exercise, but it is one that has no clear end in sight. Once you have blocked a small number of IP addresses, fraudsters will almost always find other IP addresses to use in order to continue doing click fraud on your PPC advertisements.
Anti-fraud solutions are provided by specialized third parties who have extensive knowledge of traffic patterns and marketing campaigns. They scan the traffic and identify sources of traffic that are believed to be fraudulent. Businesses can utilize this proof, which comes in the form of reports and charts, to justify their positions in discussions with specific ad networks.
Prevent click fraud from occurring in the first place.
Unfortunately, click fraud is one of the most straightforward types of ad fraud to commit, which makes it one of the most difficult to detect and prevent. The advertising technology sector cannot rely solely on Google to detect and prevent fraudulent clicks. Only a professional anti-fraud software package can provide a comprehensive solution for preventing click fraud and invalid clicks before they have a chance to cause financial harm to your advertising budgets.