When Google AdWords was launched in October 2000, it’s safe to say that it changed online marketing forever. Now sixteen years later it is an integral part of many companies marketing activities.
However, just as businesses are enjoying the benefits of using AdWords’ pay per click service, there are certain individuals and organisations out there who are willing to exploit it in more negative ways.
If you’re unsure what AdWords is, it’s an advertising platform offered by Google for businesses wanting to display ads on Google and its advertising network. The AdWords platform enables businesses to set a budget for advertising and only pay when people click the ads. The ad service is mainly focused on keywords and is largely considered one of the best ways of generating new leads, enquiries and sales.
However, the model of pay per click means that activity known as click fraud is always in the back of advertiser minds. Click fraud is when pay per clicks ads are clicked on maliciously in an attempt to inflate the advertisers’ spend. Coupled with a lack of enquiries due to this behaviour, it leaves the advertiser in a situation whereby they conclude that pay per click doesn’t work. This plays into the hands of the perpetrators because it results in their closest competitors pausing their ads and handing them an advantage as competition leaves the market.
The problem runs deeper than malicious competitors though, with a reported $6.3 billion global loss expected in 2016 and 36% of automated bot traffic click through paid ads.
It may seem that advertising using Google AdWords is high risk but in actual fact if campaigns are managed correctly, coupled with anti-click fraud detection software, using pay per click advertising can still be highly beneficial and generate new leads for advertisers.
What to look out for to make sure you aren’t falling victim to click fraud:
- Excessive spend that doesn’t generate leads or sales.
- Unusually high click through rate (CTR).
- Unusually high invalid click activity.
- High bounce rate.
If any of the above are in combination with each other then click fraud may be the cause. Click Guardian offer a system that monitors visitor behaviour and makes automated, real-time blocks when excessive clicking on paid ads is detected. They also offer a free 14 day, no obligation trial of their system at www.clickguardian.co.uk