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Each company that deals with PPC, the threat of click fraud is always a weak spot and a huge problem at the same time. It won’t take much time for click fraud to “eat” all money meant for advertising. Moreover, CPC will be run by it, your competitors will be given with advantage and – can you imagine that? – click fraud can even lock you out of account of PPC. And, sadly, it is more widespread phenomenon than you can imagine. If you prefer to be sure that you dollars for advertising are used purposefully and are spent well, then you should learn what click fraud prevention is and how to use it in order to avoid such a serious ecommerce threat like click fraud.



Definition


Click fraud – this is when a person or a specific computer program waste advertiser’s budget by clicking repeatedly on his pay per click ads in order to collect click fraud charges. Click fraud increases costs of advertising, decreases conversion rates, falsifies and juggle with the user data for your business online.


There are some first steps that should be followed:


    1.    Study the competitors of yours. The vital thing for you as an advertiser is to get to know your PPC competitors. “Aware means armed”. Who can appear at once when you start keyword searching? As soon as you know this, you can use various tools like Click Defense or AdWatcher – with them it will be much easier to find out when competitors make fraudulent clicks on your ads.


    2.    Limit your zone of exposure. In order to lower the click fraud amount, don’t run your ads in all countries, but choose just some of them. Poor countries or those with low rate of labor are always the main “source” of fraudulent clicks as it is almost the only income stream for people in such countries. Keep your eye on your campaigns. Only having the experience will help you to detect problems with your ads. Monitor your ad campaigns, control them, be sure what your competitors are going to do and what goals you want to achieve.


    3.    Use only those target websites that have a high value. Sites of low quality are a great source of fraudulent clicks. Many people consider click frauds as association with bots, which immediately directs to your website and your ads. To prevent this, your ads should be placed on some particular sites, meaning those ones that have a lot of potential clients.


    4.    Make investments in click fraud prevention. Lastly, the final advice to eliminate click fraud effect is to use a special software solution. For instance, TEA Software solution is particularly to perform such function as click fraud prevention. If you need some help in fighting against click fraud, then you should use their tools for click fraud prevention.


Who performs fraudulent activities to bring harm to advertisers?


    ·         Competitors – sometimes the people who want to click your budget are your competitors. They click on your ads repeatedly trying to increase amounts of search term payments. If such individuals who perform click fraud are efficient in their fraudulent activity, your business can be just pushed out of the market.


    ·         Publishers – click fraud practice is often used when advertising publishers make attempts to “play games” with search advertising. Such is frequently met in affiliate networks; there marketers from time to time do don’t have enough information about advertising data.


    ·         Clients – well, actually, they don’t do click fraud itself, but their behavior sometimes do seems similar. This happens when a user clicks regularly on one and the same paid search ad in order to visit a certain website, but not navigating to it directly (or, as a variant, from search engine). Such behavior can’t be considered as a 100%-clickfraud, but search engines may recognize it as a fraudulent behavior.


How to detect click fraud


There are two “locations” where click fraud can occur:


    ·         Search engine

    ·         PPC ads


You may become a target of click fraud in case you see any of the mentioned below facts:


    ·         Clicks repeat from the same internet service providers, and there is no conversion

    ·         Search costs are increased unexpectedly

    ·         There are some unexplainable anomalies in the data of performance



Click fraud prevention – resuming how to do it


The following actions will help you in order to prevent the catastrophic decrease in funds from the account of advertising campaign because of the click fraud:  


    ·         Stop your PC. Allows you to save the budget before there is a solution to the problem.

    ·         Analysis. Find out what the problem is. To identify nature of an abnormal decrease in money, use web analytics, activity records, and user actions.


    ·         Localization of the problem. If you find that your ad is glossing over, determine exactly where: in the search engines or on the advertising platforms. This will help to identify the attacker. Click fraud in the search is often engaged by your competitors, and on the sites - unscrupulous owners, getting money for transitions on advertising, placed on their resources. Such sites should be entered in the PC black list.


Automatic algorithms for tracking unnatural clicks in AdWords consider the following events to be invalid:


    ·         Random clicks. For example, when the same person clicks the ad twice.

    ·         Manual clicks made to reduce the advertiser's budget or increase the owner's income.

    ·         Clicks performed with automated systems and fraudulent software.

    ·         AdWords monitors and removes unnatural clicks before they appear in your account statistics.

    The user's agent, ip, time of operation, repeated clicks and so on are taken into account.


Here is the final advice what to do to reduce or avoid click fraud activity in your website. First you should study those services, which specialize on automatic identifying of click fraud presence. Next, you should choose appropriate keywords; negative match should be applied. Don’t forget and always keep in mind to perform monitoring of visitors’ behavior on regular basis. And the last but not the least thing is to establish budget and keep to it.

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