Pay-per-click campaign spam refers to the unwanted clicking of advertisements online. This can be performed by an individual, a team of people, or by a bot. The problem many advertisers face today is the fact that every unwanted click on their advert means damage to the company’s bottom line. These useless clicks really are the bane of many in the industry’s existence.
Why would people want to spam a PPC campaign?
The motives behind click fraud can be quite diffuse but the effects of it are always the same – substantial cost bore by the advertiser themselves. We’ve listed the main reasons for PPC spamming below:
Publishers supporting themselves
One of the most typical reasons for click fraud is so publishers receive extra funds from the advertisers. In this case, a the publisher of an advert will repeatedly click the link to the advertiser’s website in order to make their own page look like a successful vehicle for the advert, and trick the advertiser into believing that the publisher is a valuable asset to their company.
Undermine the competition
Another common reason behind spamming PPC campaigns would be to attempt to waste a competitor’s advertising budget. Here one of the advertisers competitors will spam the campaign with clicks to force the company to pay out to publishers, effectively slashing their budgets for promotion.
Supportive friends or relatives not realizing they are causing damage
A much less malicious, although still quite common motivator behind fraudulent PPC activity is well meaning friends or relatives clicking on your advertisements and not realizing that this actually costs your campaign money.
Over the years, click fraudsters have evolved their tactics. Today, they make use of various tools to help evade detection, speed up the number of clicks they can perform, and also to automate the whole process.
Bots are essentially programs that have been coded to performs actions without human prompts. Click fraud bots have been programmed to follow links on sites on their own. More sophisticated examples will delete their own cookies as they click an advert in order to further evade detection.
VPNs and Proxies
As advertisers have started combating fraudulent clicks, the methods used to avoid detection have improved too. Now fraudsters can make use of VPN and proxy servers to disguise their IP address, and the location they are accessing your websites from.
What can be done about PPC campaign spamming?
Fortunately, there are things that can be done to stop, or limit the damage caused by PPC campaign spamming. There exist several third party software providers who can deliver a service aimed at the identification and blocking of malicious clicks on your campaign. These pieces of software can take the countless hours out of analyzing vast reams of click data, and remove elements of human error. This makes them a very attractive option for small to medium sized advertisers wishing to rid their campaign of spam clicks.