Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

  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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

Adnan Manzoor

Data Analyst & Life Coach

50 Free Online Resources for Self-Motivated Learners How to Relieve A Toothache When A Dentist Isn’t Nearby? Say Goodbye to Sleepless Nights! 10 Essential Oils That Help You Sleep Soundly. Are You Obsessed with Your Sneakers? They Can Be The Cause of Smelly Feet 5 Simple Tips to Reduce Stress and Stop Anxiety Quickly

Trending in Technology

1 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 2 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019 3 10 Smartest Productivity Software to Improve Your Work Performance 4 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated) 5 16 Less Known Gmail Hacks That Will Super Boost Your Productivity

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

Advertising

     

    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

      Advertising

      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

        Advertising

          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

            Advertising

            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

            Read Next