January 27, 2021 | 6 min reading time

Click fraud is a prevalent problem that can destroy your PPC ad campaign budget in a heartbeat . When you understand what click fraud is and how it works, you gain the knowledge of how to prevent it. However, with so many click fraud software options at your disposal, it’s only natural to ask yourself how does one choose the right one?

Here’s a look at what click fraud is, how to prevent it, and 5 things to consider in an effective click fraud software product. 

What Is Click Fraud? How Does Click Fraud Work? 

In short, click fraud occurs when your pay-per-click ads get repeated clicks that are generated by people (or bots) with zero interest in buying your products or services. Click fraud will make you want to scream when you see how it wastes away your marketing budget.

Fraudulent clicks generate lots of huge fraudulent charges on your ad accounts and they can really add up. Not only that, click fraud will lower your conversion rates and provide you with bad, completely irrelevant data about visitors to your site.

Individuals, computer programs, or generated scripts are usually the culprits behind click fraud. But why would anyone want to waste their time clicking on ads in rapid succession? I mean, what’s their motivation? 

Here’s the deal. Some people do it to eliminate their competition. Others do it for their own benefit, and still, others do it because it’s just easier than going directly to your site. 

So, how does click fraud work in a practical sense? What does a real-life scenario look like?

Let’s say that you stayed up late to set up a really great Google Ads campaign ad with the hope of getting lots of interest in one of your products. You wake up the next morning and eagerly pull up the results, only to find that after 2-3 hours of your campaign, your budget is already gone! What’s worse is that your conversion rate is extremely low. How did that happen? The only explanation is that you became a victim of click fraud while you were sleeping. It’s true that you can perform a certain degree of analysis using the Google Ads platform, but to prevent such a disaster from happening, you really need a click fraud prevention tool. 

How to Spot Click Fraud

So, exactly how do you spot click fraudsters and stop them in their tracks?

To be a super sleuth of click fraud, you need to know that click fraud can happen on search engine ads and affiliate PPC ads. Grab your Sherlock Holmes gear and magnifying glass and start scouting out these types of issues:

  • Repeated clicks stemming from similar ISPs
  • Repeated clicks that don’t convert
  • Large or unprecedented spikes in PPC ad costs
  • Strange anomalies in data that have no reasonable explanation

With your detective work completed, it’s time to get to work to reduce click fraud or prevent it completely.

  • Regularly monitor user behavior and run post click analysis
  • Establish a budget and adhere to it (do make sure you monitor CPC closely)
  • Use negative matching of industry-specific keywords
  • Call on the experts like ClickGUARD to help you combat click fraud. Just sayin

How Does Click Fraud Protection Work?

Identifying click fraud is only half the battle. Click fraud software is your best defense to protect your PPC ad campaigns. 

OK, so out of all the click fraud software options on the market, how does one pick the best one?

Well,

How to Choose the Best Click Fraud Software 

Don't make the mistake of thinking that all click fraud software is the same. 

In the interest of getting the best possible click fraud prevention software, check out these 5 criteria to consider when choosing click fraud software:

criteria for click fraud software
  1. Real-time blocking-Does your click fraud solution block fraudulent clicks before they negatively affect your PPC ad campaigns? Bots and bad actors can destroy your ad budget in a flash! The Google Ads platform is limited in its ability to detect click fraud, which means the rest is up to you. What you need is click fraud prevention software that automatically identifies traffic sources with negative ROI and filters out clicks that stem from fraudulent sources before they drag down your ad budget.
  1. Advanced campaign level rules-Does the click fraud solution you’re considering offer ad group level rules, keyword-level rules, and advanced campaign level rules? Quality click fraud prevention software blacklists IP addresses to prevent fraudsters from targeting your campaigns. If they can’t be successful, they’ll target some other business. 
  1. Automated campaign pausing-Does the click fraud solution pause your campaigns when it detects Google ads fake clicks? One of the benefits that you get with Google Ad campaigns is the ability to start and stop your ad campaigns whenever you want to. That’s tough to do when you’re sleeping or working on other aspects of your business. The best click fraud prevention software will automatically pause your ad campaigns when clicks spike without conversions.
  1. Transparency and accountability-Do you get the transparency and accountability that comes with video recording and fully transparent dashboard analytics, complete with post-click behavior analysis? What you need is a comprehensive analysis of your ad impressions every month so you have the grounds to ask the ad network to refund incidents of fraudulent PPC traffic.
  1. Beware of the buzzwords-The words machine learning and artificial intelligence get tossed around a lot with digital marketers. That’s not a bad thing when you use them in a meaningful context. When it comes to the quality of a click fraud solution, don’t be swayed by buzzwords that the software provider can’t back up with transparency and solid data. Good click fraud software providers don’t resort to using technical buzzwords to get your business. They just get the job done. 

Sure, most click fraud software applications will save you some money, but why not use a click fraud protection program that gives you maximum protection? One that detects fraudulent clicks AND leads the industry in understanding how to stop them? 

What Makes ClickGUARD Stand Out in the Crowd (As Compared to other Click Fraud Solutions)? 

OK, this might sound like bragging, but we promise it’s not just empty words. 

ClickGUARD explored ALL the ways that click fraud could attack your PPC ad campaigns and developed an industry-leading click fraud protection software application with the most robust set of click fraud features available in the market today. 

With over 20 advanced rule conditions, ClickGUARD is the premium choice in click fraud detection and prevention. ClickGUARD doesn’t rely on so-called AI and Machine Learning not because they aren’t cool, but because in an industry where bots can change their algorithms extremely fast, it’s impossible to “feed the machine” with correct, real-time data. 

Instead, what we do is provide marketers with all the tools to marketers to create their own rules, and adjust accordingly.

Jason is the CMO @ ClickGUARD. He is passionate about all things PPC, SEO and has extensive customer acquisition experience. When not writing about SEM he can be found surfing the wildest ocean waves of the South American coast.