Even if the cost of your keywords isn’t especially high, having the competition click on them strategically can significantly reduce the effectiveness of your advertising program – especially if you are targeting a slew of such words. Click fraud is, in general, a costly issue, with businesses losing more than $7 billion every single year to it.
Direct Methods to Stop Click Fraud
How, then, do you protect yourself against it? It is, after all, an effective strategy for other businesses to click on your ads to drive up your costs and reduce engagement by legitimate visitors. The methods employed by Search giant, Google, are geared towards limiting the effectiveness of automated robots; they have trouble stopping intelligent, targeted click fraud attacks.
Manual IP Address Blocking
Google has endowed advertisers with the ability to manually block certain IP addresses of you suspect them of click fraud. Generally, continual clicks from a particular IP address, or from a swath of them, that never return a conversion, are easy to spot. In particular, if you have a high volume of clicks from several IP addresses, you can gauge the average rate of conversion across all channels and find the ones with a significantly lower (usually, zero – but not always) conversion rate.
Due to privacy policies, you cannot gauge IP addresses from within Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords) or Google Analytics; but you can check them using third-party programs like WordFence from WordPress.
If combing through IP address data and employing user agents seems like a lot of work, then there are several alternatives to limiting or preventing click fraud. For example, a GDN remarketing campaign or method ensures that your ads are only shown to visitors who previously showed interest and are returning to the site. Robots and manual fraudsters never even get the chance to click on your ads.
Since you can set up IP exclusions on Google Ads, you can do the initial legwork to identify the offending addresses and exclude them forever by using the IP Exclusions property embedded in the Adwords interface. By combining this with an adjustment in your ad targeting to identify misspellings and other suspicious actions, you can eliminate the bulk of your issues with click fraud. Be sure to weed them out carefully, so that you don’t block legitimate traffic sources.
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