April 19, 2017 | by Vuk Stan

PPC Advertising Traffic: Fake Or Real?

Pay-per-click ads invaded all online platforms that are out there. For a long time, digital advertisers believed that PPC advertising can work miracles. Online advertising is one of those rare strategies that is both targeted and flexible.

On top of that, in the long run, it's not as expensive as TV, for instance. According to a study conducted in 2016, advertisers spent $72.09 billion on U.S. digital advertising, and  $71.29 billion on TV. These numbers clearly show that marketers chase after digital advertising since it has more to offer.

One of the major reasons why advertisers choose PPC ads to promote their products is because they can evaluate its performance. The amount of clicks and how much traffic it drives are available for advertisers. That access to results allows them to reveal the validity of the clicks and detect any fraudulent activities.

Click Fraudsters Make Up a Good Percentage of Your Audience

As Ron Amram, a brand marketing specialists, puts it, digital advertisers “pay for the eyeball” but instead they get false clicks. Along with his colleagues, Amram found out that every $1 ad spending results in $2 revenue, which is a relatively small number.

For a billion dollar industry, this is a huge issue. That is why the Association of National Advertisers initiated a research to find the roots of the problem and come up with practical solutions. After numerous case studies and data analysis, here is what they discovered:

11% of display ads were viewed by software,

25% of video ads were viewed by software.

Or in financial terms, fake traffic costs $6.3 billion dollars. Advertisers continuously pay for the clicks only to find out that conversion rates and traffic show only slight changes.

Furthermore, click fraud has become some sort of a business among hackers. Malware that generates the false clicks is later sold to another person who can perform click frauds of his own. This ends up making getting to the bottom of the problem harder for click fraud detection specialists.

How to Solve This Problem

Some specialists like Bob Hoffman, the author of the blog the Ad Contrarian, think that nothing has damaged the Internet and its safety more than online ads. Click frauds harm the reputation of the web and prevent relatively safer activities. So, their solution is to ban online ads: no ads, no clicks, as simple as it is.

Another portion of online advertisers and cyber security specialists claim that it is hard to distinguish genuine clicks from false ones. That is why the statistics can be wrong sometimes. Although this chamber of specialists can’t deny the recent ineffectiveness of PPC ads and the irrational correlation between clicks and conversion rates.

Click frauds do occur and they are a problem. Enterprises, both big and small, can’t keep spending money on PPC ads and get ridiculously low ROIs. Completely removing the concept of online ads is not the best solution.

Alternatively, through ad monitoring click fraud protection software like ClickGuard, advertisers can keep an eye on the clicks of ads and their validity. The sooner you detect the matter, the faster you can resolve it.