Click fraud prevention is a huge problem for anyone running PPC campaigns. It devastates ad budgets and leads to a terrible ROI. This is why Google and other search engines have put mechanisms in place to prevent this from happening. They know that if they don’t, their customers will turn to competitors who do have these defenses in place.
Click fraud can come from a variety of sources. Some of it is committed by competitors who want to harm you. This can be done through a program, automated script or bot. Others are committed by people who just want to negatively affect an organization (political parties, charities, personal vendettas). Often this happens when friends of the publisher click on ads to provide “patronage.”
Safeguarding Your PPC Campaigns: A Comprehensive Guide to Click Fraud Prevention
Another source is people who have been hired to work as click farmers. They are paid to click on ads as cheap labor. This is why it is important to only work with reputable vendors who have a good track record of fighting click fraud.
Lastly, some of it is committed by people who click on your ads as part of a remarketing campaign. This can be done to see what type of content or products they are interested in and then provide them with more relevant ads. It’s why remarketing is such a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. This kind of click fraud can be prevented by using remarketing with Google’s Universal Analytics and by excluding certain geographic locations (if you are only targeting specific geolocations). It is also a great idea to use a third-party quality scoring and IP address blacklisting provider like IPQS to help identify suspicious traffic.