When you’re investing in a pay per click ad campaign, the last thing you want is for fraudsters to hijack it and leave you hemorrhaging budget. We asked a panel of professionals to share their ideas for protecting your campaigns. Read on to learn more.
Rebecca White

Rebecca White

Rebecca White, Director of Marketing, Prana Brush.

Monitoring the IP addresses

The number 1 tip to combating click fraud is to carefully and frequently monitor the IP addresses associated with your ad clicks.

If you notice strange patterns, such as a surge of clicks from a particular IP or location (especially an odd foreign location which is unexpected), then you may have a click fraud problem on your hands.

Once you have identified the IPs, you can block them in Google Ads to prevent ads from being shown to visitors from those IPs in the future.

In addition, if a particular location appears to be the source of many illegitimate IPs targeting your ads, you can exclude that location from your ads so that they will not show there. By employing these free tactics, you can dramatically cut down on click fraud.

IP exclusion

IP exclusion and area exclusion, a great way to deter PPC fraud. A vast majority of the time, click frauds occur by unhealthy competitors who wish to drain your ad budget.

Make a list of some of the usual competitors who run ads and exclude their workplaces up to a mile radius to ensure click frauds are kept to a bare minimum. IP exclusions work on the same principles; however, they are a bit tricky to narrow down to. Exclusions may exclude some genuine customers too, who fall in the particular area excluded, and your ad will not be shown to them. This is something to keep in mind as you make your business decisions.

Noman Nalkhande

Noman Nalkhande

Noman Nalkhande, Founder of WP Adventure, a web design and digital marketing company based in Mumbai, India. He has extensive experience running PPC ads and delivering successful campaigns.
Jennifer Willy

Jennifer Willy

Jennifer Willy, Editor at Etia.Com

Prevention software

PPC fraud is a very concerning issue as many of the modern companies make use of this type of digital marketing. It is very easy to get entangled in their fraud as they can easily eat a big chunk of your budget.

There are many ways through which you can see through their deceit. The first and easiest way is through prevention software. For example, ClickCease helps with fraud prevention and protection as their algorithms ensure that our campaigns are not wasting money.

Next would be to target those websites that are of high value. It is very well known that most of the low-quality sites are full of these booby traps. Most of the time they have a connection with bots that automatically target your website and your ads. So, avoid these types of sites and run your ads on specific, well-known, reliable, and client-related websites.

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Audit/monitor your account

The easiest way to monitor and deal with PPC click fraud is to frequently audit your account. This allows you to monitor your campaign activity and highlight any suspicious patterns that may be occurring. For example, you may notice unusual patterns during a specific time of the day, a geographical location, or a device used. Additionally, check your search terms regularly. This should help you to determine whether you are fighting click fraud or perhaps targeting the wrong people.

If you spot any irregular activity, then you can temporarily adjust your targeting. Temporarily disabling a specific time, device and location may fix your issue. You can always reverse your changes at a later date to see if the fraudsters have lost interest and moved on. Of course, for enhanced monitoring, you may want to consider investing in click fraud protection.

Liam Quinn

Liam Quinn

Liam Quinn is a marketing enthusiast who specializes in PPC and content marketing. He currently works as Head of Marketing at Reach Interactive, a cloud-based SMS provider. Liam hosts a podcast named 20 Minute Marketing, where he interviews guests on PPC and other industry-related topics.
Jeff Romero

Jeff Romero

Jeff Romero is the co-founder of Octiv Digital, a digital marketing agency providing local and enterprise SEO strategy, pay per click advertising, and web design / development services for small to midsize brands.

Review target setting

To prevent click fraud as much as possible, we usually take two routes.

First, with the right tracking in place, we do our best to identify and block any suspicious IP addresses. If we notice that one particular IP address is clicking on an ad over and over again, we simply block the IP. This works well for small businesses that don’t have an unmanageable amount of paid search traffic.

Second, it’s important to review targeting settings often. A change to geographic targeting can easily and significantly reduce the number of suspicious clicks on an ad instantaneously. With so many geographic targeting settings available in Google Ads, we will often hone in on specific areas our clients don’t want to advertise in so as to prevent any suspicious clicks.

Three ways

There are various ways to avoid click fraud:
Limit your exposure – countries with lower labor rates tend to be a source for click fraud. Examine your target audience location carefully and eliminate countries that might cause inconvenience.

Constantly monitor your ad campaigns – if you use Google Adwords, check out their Account Performance and Campaign Performance tools.

Watch out for your competitors – they might click on your ad fraudulently. Use tools like AdWatcher to monitor your ad clicks.

Ali Rizvi

Ali Rizvi works at Dream Superhero.

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