Eliminating Click Fraud: Definitions, Details, Explanations

Let’s remind again about the nature of click fraud. So, if you work with contextual advertising, you know that this is a repeatable following of advertising in order to waste the budget that was meant for advertising. Pitifully, but budgets are wasted in such a way quite often. Therefore, to prevent click fraud and to protect from him is a must-activity that each advertiser should perform.

How is click fraud recognized?

If you see the following indicators, you understand at once that something is wrong, money is wasted and some steps for click fraud prevention should be taken:

· Rapid and sudden increase of advertising clicks

· Click-through rate also increases suddenly and without any reason

· From the same IP addresses clicks are made on the contextual advertisements

Click fraud way of work

Currently, there are four types of click fraud:

· Fraudsters, who make clicks just to do a mischief

· Clickers who do it professionally: fraudulent activity of the “ordered” advertisers is the way they earn money.

· Owners of the websites also do clicking on their ads on the purpose, in order to higher income

· Competitors are the most often click fraudsters as their target is to destroy advertisers’ budget

Click fraud can be performed in two ways: either manually or automatically. If manually, the damage is not so huge, as the productivity is low and the price for a click is not high. If automatically, the damage can be more considerable, because in this case productivity is high, especially in comparison with the manual type.

Discovering click fraud and fraudsters

Discovering fraudster is done with using web analytics, as well as files of .log format. In such a way actions of the visitor can be fixed.

· Manual — keep a close eye on IP addresses that repeat on a constant base. If you see such, then be sure, that clicks are done manually, as people don’t change IP addresses. Make thorough analysis of those visitors that you suspect to be fraudsters and time period of their visits on your website. As a rule, this period is very short — just a couple of seconds.

· Automatic — again: watch IP with the same addresses. On top of that, when you see that some providers are your frequent guests, as well as subnetworks, it’s time to grow suspicious.

The next step is defining where your fraudulent visitors are — meaning, geotargeting. And it should go in compliance with the targeting that you have chosen for your ads. If there is any abnormal data accumulation — keep your eyes skinned. Click fraud can be captured by accident — day, geo, data in social media and etc.

AdWords and prevention of false clicks

The following clicks are considered as invalid by AdWords:

· Incidental clicks: sometimes each user can make a double click or repeated one; such click are of no value for advertisers;

· Manual clicks, made on purpose to click the ads budget;

· Manual clicks, done on purpose to make benefits higher for the website owners, who place their ads there

· False clicks purposed on decreasing CTR of the advertisers

· Automatic clicks, made by robots or any other fraudulent software

AdWords use special filters to prevent appearing click frauds in the account reports. Thus, Google deals with various types of data, IP addresses, activity time, and so on. Those systems that AdWords use, including filters and discovering of click frauds, are divided into:

· Preventive measures (filters and of-line analysis)

· Counter measures (investigations)

The definition for “filters” is the following: these are algorithms that “sort out” false clicks in real time, to prevent the advertiser from paying for invalid clicks.

Offline analysis is done either by means of automatic algorithms, or manually. Also, offline analysis decreases less click frauds than it is done by automatic filter.

As for investigations, they are not often performed. Of course, all advertisers’ requests that Google receives are investigated, and the click fraud is one of the most serious issues to be solved. Specialists discover fraudulent clicks, but their number is much less especially in comparison with those discovered by filters and offline analysis.

Just as you see click frauds, they are automatically deleted from reports in order for the advertiser not to pay for that. But if it is necessary you may read all the data about invalid clicks. As soon as click fraud is recognized, it doesn’t any more influence CTR (it helps to assess the quality of keywords used).

Click fraud is a serious issue. When you face fraudulent activity, you should blacklist the IP addresses where they come from. After that, contact technical service and use special software for fighting with click frauds, like that one of TEA Software.

Websites with perfect conversions sound too good to be real, that is why when you see such, they might be fake. And one more point: the websites that are visited by customers with a high frequency are not a perfect source. Such frequently visited sites are often made for clicking budget.

The question appears: how one should know that this is a fake website? Well, to find this out, see if there are some of the following features:

· The content is not informative and of low quality

· The model is almost not customized

· Only some days has passed after the domain registration

· On the page there are too many advertisements

As soon as you see at least one of these points, immediately blacklist those websites as they are fraudulent. Of course, there is a possibility to eliminate them manually: you just have to add them to the list of the websites that are excluded. But it costs time, remember that. And those broken pages will appear again. That is why it is necessary to choose appropriate websites, which are visited by real customers.

And the last advice in the article: those pages that can be easily converted should not be placed with pixels, as bots can falsify them quite easy.