The Threat of Competitor Click Fraud

July 3, 2018

Click fraud refers to the process of generating unwanted clicks on PPC advertising campaigns. These clicks are unwanted because, for whatever reason, they will never generate a sale. They might be caused by a human, or a program (bot), but either way, no matter how many visits they make to your page, you will never make a sale from them.

A Threat From Your Competitor?

The activity of click fraud is in the digital marketing era is rampant. Click fraud can happen for a number of reasons and is a bigger threat than you may realize. There are instances of  companies hiring offshore firms to fraudulently click on your sponsored ads in order to exhaust your AdWords budget and get you out of the game so that their ads show up over yours. There are even occurances of third party sites that feature your ad placements and then click on your ads in order to inflate their percentage of ad income from your placements.

The estimated damages to victimized advertisers reaches well into the billions, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be coming to a stop any time soon. For placement firms, there is very little incentive to fix the problem. The percentage of profit from fraudulent clicks is too great. This is, of course, can be disastrous for any marketing campaign. Paying for space that is not viewed by humans willing (or capable) to make a sale definitely wasn’t part of the business plan.

PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising and Click Fraud

Advertisers who want brand exposure on search engines spend vast amounts of money bidding on targeted keywords for AdWord search engine listings, as wells as ad placements on third party sites. Initially, the advertiser sees the large number of clicks and believes that their ads are gaining traction. However, what they don’t know is that industry experts now believe that up 45% of clicks on these sponsored ad are fraudulent. Although these clicks may seem engaging at first, advertisers soon discovery they do not necessarily convert into sales. Further inspection shows that the clickers don’t stay on the site or landing page long, which can increase bounce rates, and they’re exhausting your ad budget. For small businesses, it can be extremely frustrating to continually expend such marketing capital and receive such a small return.

What are my options for dealing with click fraud?

The best way to deal with suspected competitor click fraud (or click fraud of any kind, for that matter) is to use an easy-to-use click fraud prevention and protection software platform like ClickGUARD. Using sophisticated parameters to identify and automatically block suspected perpetrators, such services can help advertisers to improve their overall ROIs, and make better decisions for their advertising campaigns. By taking control of the task, ClickGUARD can make sure you’re able to concentrate on more creative elements of your advertising, such as getting your genuine clickers to convert.

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