Consider this: as an advertiser; you’re shelling out big bucks to ensure your brand gains maximum exposure, especially from your targeted demographics. However, something seems amiss. Although advertising doesn’t guarantee conversions, the conversion ratio is far less than you or your team could imagine. Could there be an issue with your calculations?
In fact, it might not. For years now, click frauds have been commonplace in the market, with scammers utilizing bots to act as new users. Granted, there have been multiple companies that focus on click fraud prevention.
Despite that, you should be aware of the concept and how you can avoid being a victim of it.
The Concept of Click Fraud
Often difficult to detect, click fraud is a cybercrime involving an automated script that poses as new users to click on pay-per-click advertisements. The sole reason it is specific to these ads is that the advertiser pays for every click; naturally, more users equal more payment.
Not only does this manipulate customer data, affecting company records, but it also bleeds out the advertiser’s wallet without any significant results. The individuals responsible for click fraud bank on the fact that the advertisers have no way of verifying the identity of these bots or scripts.
With an estimated 36% of the display ad clicks being fraudulent or invalid, it is no longer possible for advertisers to ignore this threat. But before understanding how to deal with it, who do you think is responsible for this?
The Main Culprits
Let’s play a game of guesswork to understand who engages in click frauds. If a brand is suffering due to high advertising costs with low conversions, it might eventually drive them out of the market. Who benefits the most from this?
That’s right, the competitors! A rival organization may believe that it is worth their while to engage in fraudulent clicks to drive up your price. After all, phasing their competitor out of the market will benefit them in the long run.
But are competitors the only culprits? Far from it! The advertisement publishers are equally guilty of this crime. Their plan is clear: extract more money from the client. Usually, this practice is expected in the affiliate market, where advertisers are often kept in the dark about the market data.
Surely, there might be some ways that advertisers can avoid this widespread malpractice.
Dealing with Click Fraud
To recognize click fraud, you must possess the data of users that clicked on your advertisement. A transparent relationship between the ad publisher and the advertiser is necessary for mutual benefits. Not to mention, specific software programs can help in click fraud prevention while ensuring that the ad gets genuine traffic.
Apart from these tools, some ways in which you can prevent click fraud are:
- Monitor user data, especially if you notice repeated clicks from a single IP without conversions
- Establish a budget for your advertising program and do not go beyond it in any case
- Keep a close track of your advertising campaigns
- Trust high-value sites and reliable publishers for your ad campaigns
Through careful tracking and analysis, you can guess your advertisements have turned victims to click frauds.
With advertisers being more aware of click fraud, the fraudulent elements will try to adapt. However, it would be difficult for them to manipulate user data. In addition, various emerging ad companies condemn this fraud and focus on allowing advertisers to obtain genuine traffic on their ads.