How to protect your AdWords account against click fraud - The Search Marketing Shop
Search Engine Marketing

How to protect your AdWords account against click fraud

By February 10, 2014 June 26th, 2019 No Comments

Are you wasting money on invalid clicks from competitors or software?

The Search Marketing Shop could not exist without the established trust it has gained in working with Google, which we are especially aware of when representing our customers in their Google AdWords campaigns. However, it is easy to become suspicious about your return on investment when you are paying by the click, and you wouldn’t be blamed.

You may have wondered whether everybody clicking on your ad (each of which you are paying for) is genuinely interested in your service, or whether they are wasting your time and money by clicking on the ad knowing that it will cost you. When somebody clicks on your advertisement, knowing that it will cost you, it is called click fraud. This is carried out by either simply clicking on your ads, hiring people to do it for them (otherwise known as click farms) or implementing click bots, which is software that enables automatic clicking.

Click fraud occurs when competitors try to raise your costs so that your daily budget for AdWords is drained quickly. It could also be implemented if you are advertising on an external site. If a website owner has a higher click through rate, the cost of advertising on their website would increase so they may be more likely to implement such software. It has been reported that disgruntled ex-employees of some companies have manually clicked on a Google Ad as a form of cyber revenge. But since we’re paying Google, what are they doing to prevent these fraudulent clicks?


What do Google do to combat click fraud?

Google have spent time tackling this problem since Adwords launched, relentlessly developing anti-bot software and updating filters which can catch invalid clicks. The main way they do this is to monitor the IP addresses of who clicks on your ad. If they all appear to be from one IP address, one town, one city, one country which is not normal for an ad of its type, Google will investigate further. Although they account for less that 10% of all clicks, Google claim that the amount of invalid clicks that they have identified and excluded from the advertisers bill runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars. We can see here that it is obviously in the best interest of Google to protect your investment, show you a return and encourage a loyal Adword campaign.


What can your search marketing company do to prevent click fraud?

There are ways that you can be proactive in preventing fraudulent activity on your site and on its ad campaign.

Slimstat is a WordPress enabled plugin which allows you to track visitors from all referrers, including search engines and social networks. Slimstat also records information about returning customers and email campaigns as well as the country they are viewing from. This is a simple way to track genuine clicks to use in future campaigns as well as detect and discourage invalid clicks. Slimstat is available from the WordPress Plugin Directory, if you have trouble with this particular plugin, you could also try WassUp or Antispam Bee. For those operating on a HTML website, Statcounter is the software you need to do a similar job to Slimstat.

If you’re worried about click fraud in your Google ad campaign and would like more information, guidance or related services, contact us for help today.