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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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Last Updated on December 30, 2018

18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated)

No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. It’s undoubtedly allowed us to connect, perform, improve and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

If you’re not taking advantage of one of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use? Well, this will depend on your needs, but we’ve put together a list of 18 of the very best time management apps that can help you with the most common time management challenges.

Let’s dive straight into the list…

1. Rescue Time — Use your time wisely

    If you have doubts that you’re using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. You may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

    Download Rescue Time

    2. Remember The Milk — Keep on top of all your tasks

      If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool which is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc. It helps you to manage your tasks easily, and reminds you of them – wherever you are.

      Download Remember the Milk

      3. Focus Booster – Boost motivation to complete tasks

        This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It’s designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures.

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        Download Focus Booster

        4. Toggl – Keep track of time spent on projects and tasks

          This is a great alternative to time-sheets, if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects. Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks, and then through analysis, working out how you can manage them more effectively.

          Download Toggl

          5. Dropbox — Store and send large files easily

            There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices – but Dropbox is free and easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go.

            Download Dropbox

            6. Evernote — Keep all your notes in one place

              Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes or images).  You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to really optimize your time.

              Download Evernote

              7. Mind42 — Focus on tasks at hand with mind mapping

                Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mind42 is the best free mind mapping app currently available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

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                Download Mind42

                8. SyncBackFree — Back up and sync your files effortlessly

                  This free software allows you to back up, restore and synchronize your files easily. It not only saves you time now – but also in the future. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this pivotal tool.

                  Download SnycBackFree

                  9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) — Manage your to-do lists effectively

                    Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, to work with your to-do lists, and to organize your goals. This task management system helps you to target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives. It automatically generates to-do lists, with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                    Download MyLifeOrganized (MLO)

                    10. 1Password — Have all your passwords remembered

                      This app allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database, protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. It also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                      Download 1Password

                      11. Pocket — Keep your eye on the ball

                        When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. Use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time which will not impact on your immediate work.

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                        Download Pocket

                        12. [email protected] — Boost your attention span

                          This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400%! Ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working or reading.

                          Download [email protected]

                          13. Launchy — Interact with your computer in a smart way

                            This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want.

                            Download Launchy

                            14. Forest — Boost your focus by growing a forest

                              This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track. The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                              Download Forest

                              15. Trello — Track your projects in a highly visual way

                                This is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board (which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed) as your start, work on and complete the associated task.

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                                Download Trello

                                16. Wunderlist — Digitalize your to-do lists

                                  Purchased by Microsoft in 2015, Wunderlist is an easy to use, feature-packed to-do list app. From planning a holiday, to sharing a shopping list with a partner, or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist will keep you on top of all your tasks.

                                  Download Wunderlist

                                  17. TimeTree — Have a shared calendar with your family

                                    This app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments. So, whether you’re planning a party, or run a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                    Download Time Tree

                                    18. Todoist — Capture and order all your tasks and activities easily

                                      Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list. It’s available via browsers and apps, and lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as given a due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                      Download Todoist

                                      The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools. And the good news is – that many of them are completely free of charge! So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you – and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                      Oh, and one more thing… Take a look at a couple of our other articles that will help further streamline your time management:

                                      40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone and 20 Quick Tips For Better Time Management

                                      More Recommended Productivity Experts on Lifehack

                                      • Leon Ho — The Founder and CEO of Lifehack, which he share productivity hacks to make life easier
                                      • Carl Pullein — A renowned productivity and time management coach
                                      • Mark Pettit — A Business Coach for ambitious entrepreneurs who want to achieve more by working less

                                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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