Click fraud continues to be prevalent in the pay-per-click industry. Estimates from Click Forensics and Anchor Intelligence say 17-29% of clicks on paid ads are fraudulent. These clicks from scammers and competitors are costing you money while producing no sales, signups, or revenue.
What Is Click Fraud?
Click fraud refers to the practice of artificially inflating the number of clicks on online advertisements. This is typically done by automated bots, or by people who are paid to repeatedly click on ads. The goal of click fraud is to generate revenue for the fraudster or to exhaust the advertising budget of the victim. In some cases, the fraudster may also use clicks to artificially inflate their own website’s advertising metrics, making it appear more popular and valuable to potential advertisers. Click fraud can cause financial losses for advertisers, as they are charged for each click, regardless of whether it was made by a real user or a fraudulent one.
People who engage in click fraud do so for several reasons:
- Ad Revenue – By artificially inflating the number of clicks on ads, the fraudster can generate more revenue from the advertiser, who pays for each click.
- Affiliate Marketing – Some fraudsters may use click fraud to generate commissions from affiliate marketing programs, where they receive a portion of the revenue generated from clicks or sales made through their referral link.
- Drain Budget – Competitors may click your ads to drain your advertising budget so that their ads are more likely to be displayed and drive traffic.
- Selling Traffic – Some fraudsters may sell traffic to advertisers or website owners, claiming that they can deliver a high volume of clicks to their websites.
- Inflating Metrics – In some cases, the fraudster may use click fraud to artificially inflate the metrics of their own website, making it appear more popular and valuable to potential advertisers.
Regardless of the method, click fraud is illegal and can result in financial losses for advertisers and decreased trust in online advertising. Advertisers and website owners can take steps to detect and prevent click fraud, such as using fraud detection software and monitoring their advertising metrics closely.
Improvely Click Fraud Protection
Improvely helps marketers to detect, block, and deter click fraud. Their monitoring system inspects the quality of every ad click, 24 hours a day. Whether excessive non-converting clicks from specific countries, or a competitor repeatedly clicking your ads, Improvely can detect and notify you of suspicious activity.
You can see the details of every suspicious click on your ads. That includes the date and time, the IP address, what ad was clicked on, the clicker’s location, the referring URL, and the landing page. With just one click Improvely will download a report to your computer that you can attach to an e-mail or support ticket to request a refund from your advertising partner.
Platforms like Improvely have algorithms to detect, block, and deter click fraud. The latest estimates from Click Forensics and Anchor Intelligence say 17-29% of clicks on paid ads are fraudulent. While you pay for the click, they’ll never result in a conversion. Improvely provides the following features to help you detect, block, and deter click fraud.
- Detect click fraud as it happens – When you track your advertising with Improvely, their monitoring system inspects the quality of every ad click, 24 hours a day. Whether excessive non-converting clicks from specific countries or a competitor clicking your ads, Improvely can immediately detect and notify you of suspicious activity.
- Recover lost money from your PPC ads – Whenever click fraud is detected, Improvely will prepare a report with all the details you need to report the incident to the site or search engine you advertised. Fraud reports include the IP addresses, locations, referring URLs, and exact dates and times of every suspicious click recorded.
- Block and deter fraudulent clicks – Competitors and affiliates clicking your ads to drain your budget have much to lose if they’re caught and reported. Improvely lets them know you’re aware of their activity by sending suspicious clicks to a warning page instead of your website. We also give you their IP address and instructions to block your Google or Bing ads from being displayed to them in the future.
- Cloak affiliate programs – Protect your campaigns from theft and snooping by affiliate managers and competition with link cloaking on supported ad and affiliate networks. Improvely works with affiliate programs that support tracking pixels or subid parameters.
Additionally, Improvely provides detailed attribution reports, funnel reports, customer profiles, and dozens of other features.