Webrageous Uncovers Paid and Natural Search Fraud for its Clients

The bad news: Paid and Natural Search Fraud does exist. It is a problem for everyone and, unfortunately, it is unlikely to do anything but grow.

The good news: Webrageous knows a lot about Paid and Natural Search and we help our clients to avoid getting stung by Paid and Natural Search Fraud.

Added bonus: This article is designed to reveal a little of what we know about Paid and Natural Search Fraud to ANYONE who wants to get clued up on the subject. Naturally, we won’t be able to impart all of our knowledge in one article as the subject is fairly complex and develops in different ways all the time, but we will be able to cover a few of the basic areas.

The following advice is shared with you today for free and it’s not even Christmas!

Natural Search Fraud
Natural Search Fraud, sometimes called Organic Search Fraud, is not as complex as that of Paid Search Fraud because money is not involved. However, it does exist and it’s still important to be active in the fight against it.

For example…

…Imagine that someone is trying so hard to conquer the top listing spot in the organic search rankings that they have someone continually click on their listing to try and influence the natural search engine’s rankings. This is fraudulent behavior and your natural search traffic may be suffering because of this behavior.

Of course, it’s not that simple as this. All major search engines watch meticulously for any sign of click fraud and there are more factors involved than CTR which affect the organic search engine rankings anyway, including landing page optimization and URL choice, for example. Someone continually clicking on their natural search listings over and over again is not going to be able to stay at the top of the search rankings for long, but it gives you an idea of the kind of things that do occur today.

Remember that Natural Search Fraud does exist and that a watchful eye is needed at all times to protect your online presence.

Paid Search Fraud
The area that is more complex and strategic in terms of click fraud is Paid Search Fraud and this is the area in which Webrageous Studios can boast a huge amount of experience and expertise.

Types of Paid Search Fraud

Competitor Fraud
When a competitor in your field of business wants to remove you from the search engine ranking page, they will have someone click endlessly on your advertisements. Every time that person clicks on one of your advertisements the Paid Search Provider will charge you and eventually your advertising budget is going to run dry. You’ll end up with a huge CTR and a 0% conversion rate.

If the financial strain doesn’t kill you off, you might decide to just remove the search term from your campaign anyway because it will seem to you to be completely ineffective in terms of conversions.

The competitor will then step in to the limelight and claim the search term, as well as the better search engine ranking spot all to themselves.

Affiliate Fraud
If you put your website on a listings website, you are susceptible to this kind of Paid Search Fraud. Listings websites generate revenue every time someone clicks on your listing. Therefore, fraudulent listings websites have been known to pay someone to click endlessly on your listing so that they can make lots of money at your expense. It does happen..

In these instances, you generate 0% conversions, huge CTRs and high advertising costs as you watch your business go down the toilet.

Impression Fraud
A competitor employs someone to conduct continual searches on a specific search term, your search term!, and your advertisement receives lots of impressions as a result.

What’s the problem?

No clicks are registered and this means that your CTR drops heavily (despite mentioning the fact that you generate no conversions from these impressions either). A low CTR is grounds enough for a search engine to disable your search term because it is viewed as being irrelevant and the search engine wants to protect the quality of the experience its users have.

The path is then left absolutely clear for your competitor to sweep in on the same term and improve their advertising campaigns at your expense. No click action occurs and this is why it is one of the most difficult forms of Paid Search Fraud to detect. Beware!

Automated Fraud
Robots or crawlers automatically enter sites, follow links and click on paid listings. The results are the same. Your advertising budget dwindles and the assessment of which advertisements are working are which aren’t is impossible.

How Do You Detect Paid Search Fraud?

Internet Protocol Address
The IP Address of someone’s computer allows it to be tracked. If lots of clicks on your advertisements are coming from the same IP address, sound the alarm bells.

If you want to make sure that certain countries never have the chance to see your advertisement and click on it fraudulently, use a geographical targeting tool and exclude those places in the world that are causing you trouble.

Unusual Activity
Take a look at your keywords. Keep track. Be vigilant. If a keyword or search term that normally generates 10 clicks every month then suddenly generates 1000 clicks, for example, you know that you have a Paid Search Fraud issue to deal with.

Ridiculous differences between CTRs and conversions rates are also obvious signs of Paid Search Fraud.

How Do You Protect Yourself Against Paid Search Fraud?

Firstly, remember that search engines are continually working in the fight against click fraud and any kind of automated click fraud that occurs is normally detected and dealt with by the search engines before you are even billed for your online advertising.

Phew! One less thing to worry about!

However, as a Paid Search Advertiser, you can also do the following in order to protect yourself even further from the dangers and expenses of Paid Search Fraud:

1. Manually check IP addresses and review all keywords and search terms that you are using in your online campaigns. What’s the problem with this?

…It takes forever to do! Do you have the time?

2. Outsourcing Paid Search Fraud Protection to a qualified company, such as Webrageous Studios. We are fully trained and experienced in the dangers of click fraud and we can do all the monitoring and reviewing for you.

Contact Webrageous Studios today to discuss outsourcing your Paid Search Fraud or to inquire further about the subject should you still be unclear having already read this article in full.