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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

Data Analyst & Life Coach

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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

Loom

There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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