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How To Avoid Click Fraud On Your Small Business Website

How To Avoid Click Fraud On Your Small Business Website

You can either say it to be intentional or the impact of the steep competition when we talk about click fraud. In the past few years, this illegal practice of ethical norms is under huge pressure of fake visitors and has become a serious concern for PPC practitioners.

This is also hindering the advertisers from exploring the much result oriented paid search as there has been a hesitation among advertisers due to click fraud.

Though PPC practitioners and account holders have taken measures to keep an eye on their account and have adopted strict actions to protect themselves against such malpractice but still this is witnessing growth day by day.

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What actually is click fraud?

It is a black hat technique that happens when individuals intentionally click on a paid advertisements to increase a payable number of clicks to the advertiser.

This can be done manually where an individual click the advertising hyperlink or it can be done with help of automated software or bots that are developed for this particular task of clicking banner ads and PPC text ad links.

There are two intentions behind adopting this malpractice.

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  1. Some advertisers try to damage their competitors by increasing their paid search cost and meeting their paid budget caps early on in the day.
  2. The ad publisher clicks on the ads on his own website to generate additional revenue for himself.
  3. You try to create fake visitors or increase the number of downloads of your app without/without App split testing

Who usually does click fraud?

  1. Competitors: You know it but you can’t help it. Everybody wants to survive the steep competition and want their piece of cake. This is why competitors indulge into this malpractice to drive up the cost of his competitor who is ranking high in SERPs. This all is done to push the competitor out of the market and establish one’s own company in the sponsored listing.
  2. Website owners: Numerous publishers click on their own site ads to make it more appealing for ad placement.
  3. Unaware Customers: Customers unintentionally add to click fraud by repeatedly click through on PPC ads to access a website instead of using a bookmark or search function. This unawareness of customers often creates a problem for the genuine advertisers.

Are Search Engines Doing Anything About Click Fraud?

Well, looking at the growing agitation among the advertisers the search engines are getting a lot of flak for not taking strict measures to stop this malpractice. So to maintain the popularity and reputation the major ad platforms have unleashed their task forces to fight against this malpractice.

The most popular search engine Google has taken a strict action against click fraud by creating a robust anti-click fraud program. The program uses 3 pronged approaches with the help of automated filters.

So to maintain the popularity and reputation the major ad platforms have unleashed their task forces to fight against this malpractice. The most popular search engine Google has taken a strict action against click fraud by creating a robust anti-click fraud program.

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The program uses 3 pronged approaches with the help of automated filters.

  1. The advanced automatic filters detect invalid clicks in real time and filter them out so that advertisers are not charged for false clicks as they don’t appear in his account reports.
  2. Google’s Ad Traffic Quality Team also investigates anomalies and fluctuations and removes invalid click based on suspicious activity before the advertiser is charged.
  3. Google also takes advertiser’s reports of suspicious activities very seriously and launches an investigation into every matter. So any malpractice that is detected is labeled as invalid and doesn’t impact the advertiser’s account.

How can you save your ad cost budget against click fraud?

The biggest weakness of automatic click fraud is that it is very easy to trace. The IP address used for multiple clicks can be tracked down very easily. But manual clicks are hard to trace and are mostly considered as accidental.

Though search engines are putting the best efforts to curb the malpractice but it is your very own analysis that is the most important. You can do your analysis and can raise your query with Google by filling and submitting a form based on your investigation.

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This self-evaluation step is very vital to save your costs from the threat of click fraud. Here are some steps you can take to monitor any sort of suspicious activity.

  • Use techniques like Shopping cart elite to track clicks on your website and set different matrices in place to identify click fraud.
  • Recognize the metrics to audit.
  • Always use specialist software for tracking these metrics.
  • After tracking the metrics audit these metric values to develop a benchmark.
  • Review all the current metric values against the benchmark values.
  • Now if the benchmark thresholds are way beyond then report and submit the complete audited data to search engines.

You can take help of numerous firewall, monitoring and blocking tools, and services to trace the malpractice. Remember that search engines are doing their bit of work but it is ultimately you who have to inspect the quality of every ad click to separate non-converting clicks from genuine ad clicks.

Featured photo credit: searchland.com via searchengineland.com

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Adnan Manzoor

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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