April 25, 2019 | by Ralph

Rule Of The Week #4 Protects your campaigns from keyword-based attacks

Category: Target frequency

What does it do: Protects your campaigns from keyword-based attacks

Why is it effective: It automatically blocks all IPs or devices that are specifically targeting various keywords you are bidding on. This often happens when your competitors initiate the attack.

Here is the overview of the protection rule

click fraud protection rule

ClickGUARD protection rule that protects your campaigns from keyword-based attacks

The process behind the rule

Fraudsters know that targeting only one keyword might trigger a reaction from Google’s algorithms. Google might flag their clicks as invalid. Invalid clicks do not affect your Google Ads performance. Fraudsters know this, so they know this kind of an attack would be worthless.

Instead, they spend some time researching keywords. Their goal is to determine the set of keywords you are targeting. Once they have it, they launch an attack on your ads.

Our customers suggest that the attack usually targets the keywords they have in common with their direct competitors.

overlapping keywords

The “Click on the Same Keywords We Use” method of attack

This rule jumps into action when it catches a significant number of clicks coming from the same IP or device to five keywords. It reacts by blocking the intruders, effectively stopping them from draining your budget too soon. We suggest five as a threshold number. You can do some research and determine which number of interactions does not fit the normal behavior of your users.


Fraudsters will try to drain your budget using every possible trick in the book. When your competitors are behind the attack, it is relatively easy for them to sabotage your business. They know where to hit you so that it hurts.

Luckily, this rule will protect your ads. Check your analytics and stats and tweak the protection rule to fit your desired and specific needs.