PPC & Advertising Information

The Cost Of Click Fraud

One of the biggest threats to the continued growth of Search Advertising is the increasing plague of click fraud. Although there are varying forms of click fraud, most people define it as any click generated, and paid for, where the intent is to drain the advertiser's budget. Advertisers know some clicks are more qualified than others, and not every visitor from their PPC campaigns will convert to a customer. But, they have a right to expect that the traffic they are paying for is coming from people at least marginally interested in their products or services.

What Motivates Click Fraud?

Why does click fraud exist? What motivates people to deceive the system by sending PPC advertisers bogus traffic? The short answer (as usual) is money.

Many Pay Per Click Advertising networks are partially, (or in some cases totally), dependent on affiliate sites to generate traffic for their advertisers. These networks syndicate their customer's ads so they will appear on the sites of their affiliates. Every time someone clicks on an ad the PPC Network and the affiliate site share the revenue. The more clicks the affiliate site generates, the more money it makes. While the vast majority of affiliates are legitimate trustworthy sites, others are in the business of exploiting loopholes in the system to line their pockets with real money by generating fake clicks. Often times the weapon of choice used by these rogue sites to cheat the system is a software script that automatically clicks on PPC ads.

Another variation of click fraud uses a more personal touch to steal advertiser's money. In the hyper-competitive world of Pay Per Click Advertising the battle for premium positioning at an affordable cost can cause companies to use less than ethical techniques to gain an edge. Companies can drive up their competitor's marketing costs by clicking on their Pay Per Click ads. If their competitor's marketing costs get too high they may lower the bids on their keywords, or stop bidding on the word altogether. Either way, the cost for the word goes down, giving the fraudulent company an opportunity to increase their ranking on the page at a lower cost.

The Search Engine's Response To Click Fraud.

All the Pay Per Click Search engines have systems in place to detect click fraud, and screen questionable clicks. One example of how they do this is by keying in on the IP address where the click originated from. If they see too many clicks coming form the same IP in a short period of time they will often screen the traffic.

The Search Engines are in a unique position when it comes to Click Fraud. On the one hand they benefit from it. The amount of revenue attributed to Click Fraud varies depending on who you ask, but everyone agrees that if illegitimate clicks were completely eliminated, all the major Search Engines would suffer a significant hit to their revenues and stock prices. However, the Search Engines also realize that the long term health of the industry depends on establishing trust with their advertiser base. Going forward we can expect to see Search Engines deploy increasingly sophisticated methods to eliminate fraud, and corresponding responses from the dark side of the Search Advertising industry.

Decreasing The Amount OF Click Fraud For Your Campaigns.

While it's impossible to completely eliminate fraudulent traffic, there are some things you can do to increase the percentage of good traffic from your investment in Pay per Click Advertising.

As a rule of thumb, the more a Pay Per Click Ad network depends on affiliates for its traffic, the more susceptible it will be to fraud. The reason why the overall traffic quality is better on Google, Yahoo and Lycos is that each of these sites has their own branded destination where consumers go to search. If you advertise on these sites you know where your ads will appear (although even these bigger sites use affiliates to varying degrees). Once you venture into the second tier Pay Per Click networks however you'll find that almost all of their traffic is generated through partner sites. Companies like Kanoodle, Enhance etc?don't own sites where people go to search the web. Nearly all their traffic is generated through their affiliates which makes it more difficult to control fraud.


Unfortunately, click fraud is a necessary evil of Pay Per Click Advertising, at least for now. However, as with most aspects of PPC Advertising everything eventually boils down to conversions and profits. If your campaigns are generating enough quality traffic to meet your conversion metrics you should continue to invest in the campaign, even if some of the clicks are fake. If your traffic is riddled with too many automated clicks it will eventually become obvious in your conversion numbers, and you should stop the campaign and put your money into pay Per Click networks that control more of their own traffic.

Stan Hauser is a leading expert on effective Pay Per Click Advertising strategies, and the creator of http://www.pay-per-click-advertising-guide.com

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Media Update

Your marketing strategy should change with the telecoms landscape
Media Update
These are all the acronyms you need to know – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising and web Public Relations (PR). SEO will enhance organic rankings on Google's search results page and work hard to drive qualified leads to ...

7 Common Pay-Per-Click Mistakes that You Need to Avoid
Domain informer
However, these days any business — including one that literally came into existence 15 minutes ago and had an advertising budget of $100 — can use PPC advertising to reach prospective customers in their marketplace. True, their ad might only show up ...


Three Things Lawyers Need To Know About Pay-Per-Click Marketing In 2018
While some law firms that use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising have seen a steady decrease in conversion rates and increase in cost-per-conversion, others are reaping the benefits of AdWords. If you're letting your campaigns go unchanged and untested ...

Search Engine Journal

7 Powerful Benefits of Using PPC Advertising
Search Engine Journal
A major benefit of PPC advertising run through AdWords is that it's easy to measure and track. Simply use the AdWords tool in combination with Google Analytics. You'll see high-level performance details including impressions, clicks, and conversions ...


How To Determine The Right PPC Advertising Budget
Forbes Agency Council PR, media strategy, creative & advertising execs share trends & tips Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Post written by. Brett Farmiloe. Founder and CEO of Markitors, a digital marketing company that moves ...

Small Businesses Determine SEO Success by Tracking Backlinks
PR Newswire (press release)
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising Often Paired With SEO. Small businesses invest modestly in pay-per-click advertising (PPC), often in tandem with SEO. Less than half of small businesses (45%) run PPC campaigns, and they do so as needed (37%) rather than ...

and more »


5 instant ways to drive more traffic to your E-commerce Business
Today, E-commerce is the clear future of retail business. There are various E-commerce giants who have reshaped the trend of shopping in India with their impressive branding strategies and digital marketing. As a trending e-commerce website, these ...

What are the most cost-effective online marketing options for a small company?
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is extremely cost-effective in many situations — especially if your business sells a product or service online. PPC campaigns can be turned on and off quickly, have precise and controllable budgets, and can be easily ...

Your Step-by-Step Guide to PPC Advertising
Business 2 Community
Google AdWords is the first place many small businesses go to begin PPC advertising. Ads display in Google Search as well as on thousands of websites that incorporate Google Adsense ads as a revenue stream. We'll use AdWords for this post to give you a ...


4 Ways To Know If PPC Is Right For Your Business
From its inception in the early 2000s to now, the popularity of targeted pay per click (PPC) advertising has grown dramatically. Due to this popularity and success, many businesses not currently using the system are considering making the move. However ...

Google News

home | site map
© 2007