How click fraud works?

Due to click fraud, or unfair clicks on sponsored links, you can waste up to 20% of your advertising budget. What is click fraud all about?

Click fraud is a phenomenon that is recently getting stronger, especially in popular industries. According to research, finance, parenting, and grocery are businesses most vulnerable to click fraud. Frauds use incorrect clicks to damage advertising campaigns of their competition. How they do that? These are two most common ways.

Click bots

It’s software that aims to simulate people and automatically click pay-per-click ads. Click bots are getting smarter, that is, also more dangerous. They imitate real users along with all their “attributes”; i.e., they use unique IP addresses, as well as random browsers, screen resolutions, operating systems, etc. This way, it’s increasingly harder for anti-fraud systems to detect and differentiate real clicks from bot clicks.

Indeed, bots are widely used to conduct fraud related to clicks, but it’s not the only way to generate unfair clicks.

Click farms

Click farms depend on human workforce and that’s why they are most often established in developing countries, where labor costs are relatively low. Such farms hire tens or even hundreds of people. Their task is very simple: click on defined ads to exhaust a given company’s advertising budget.

An asset of a click farm, from a fraud’s perspective, is that clicks from people are more similar to normal clicks and, as a result, practically non-detectable by campaign-monitoring systems.

Both click bots and farm employees interact with a displayed ad multiple times leading to its budget exhaust so that ad cannot appear anymore. Even though Google Ads and other advertising platforms have tools detecting such unfair activities, their efficiency is little satisfactory. They just aren’t able to detect all fraud cases.

How then fight against click fraud?

A solution is to take advantage of an external application that would monitor your ad campaign 24/7 and would detect all suspicious visits to your site – like Ads Defender. In case of threat, Ads Defender sends alerts and immediately, thanks to its features, automatically blocks frauds and prevents them from clicking your ad. This way, you don’t waste money for unfair clicks and you can focus on your marketing plans.