PPC fraud has been around ever since the early years of this type of advertising. However, the techniques and the technology have been growing increasingly sophisticated over the years, with the volume of PPC ad fraud holding fairly steady.
Most people are aware of click fraud, which is the most prevalent form of PPC fraud, however there are many other sneaky practices that you should know about as an advertiser.
You might assume that many of these fraudulent practices are relatively rare and only affect high profile companies or expensive keywords. In fact, many PPC fraud practices have become part of the digital advertising ecosystem and some marketers are already “baking” fraud into their ROI (not a great way to deal with fraud).
In this article, we’ll have a look at the many forms of PPC fraud and the most effective way to prevent it.
What Are The Different Forms Of PPC Fraud?
Click Fraud By Competitors
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if your competitors spent a tonne of money on something and got nothing in return? Of course, we wouldn’t mind if this took place however some companies and individuals are taking things a step further by ensuring this takes place.
This is what is commonly known as click fraud by competitors
Click Fraud By Publishers
Your competitors profit from click fraud by hurting you however there’s also another player in this equation who stands to gain directly from clicking your PPC ad: the publisher.
If you’re running display PPC ads (ads on third-party websites), then the publisher is paid a percentage of the money you pay Google for each click. More clicks on your ads equals far more revenue for the publisher.
How To Eradicate Click Fraud In Your Account
In spite of Google’s claims that it’s going the extra mile in order to eradicate click fraud, many advertisers still think it to be a major issue. If you feel as if though you can’t solely rely on Google to weed out invalid clicks, take matters into your own hands!
Here are our top tips to protect yourself from PPC fraud.
Turn To Facebook/Twitter Ads
The fantastic thing about utilising these platforms is that your ads will JUST show on these platforms. This means there are no third-party publishers who are involved in the process. This cuts out a massive source of click fraud. Malicious competitors’ clicks are also less prevalent on paid social networks as their advanced targeting options are so particular. As ad placement is based on a keyword search, it’s far more challenging for competitors to find your ads.
Set Up IP Exclusions In Google Ads
If you’ve done your due diligence and pinpointed the IP address associated with fraudulent clicks, you are able to block your ad from being served to that IP in the future. In order to set up an exclusion, all you really need to do is head to the Settings tab. Then scroll down to the IP Exclusions setting. From there, you just need to put in the offending addresses and you’ll be A for away!
Run GDN Remarketing Campaigns
If you’re worried about publisher-based click fraud, this is the way to go. It is easily averted with remarketing because ads are only displayed to those who have visited and showed interest in the advertiser’s website. There’s no risk of publishers clicking on the ads as they can’t see them!
Would you like to discover more about PPC advertising? If you do then you need to do our PPC and Web Analytics Course. Follow this link for more information.
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