So, once again and more times again – click fraud is a dishonest (fraudulent) click on any ad link. In general, as definition, this is a series of actions, when clicks are made by somebody (a person or a group of people) who are not interested in getting services or goods that the ads present.
Appearance of such type of fraudulence is caused by a significant development through Internet. Such remarkable development of software and computing was followed by appearing new ways of fraudulence, and click fraud is one of them. The subject of fraudulence is advertisers who put a contextual advertising under the principle of Pay per click. As the analytics say, at present from 10% to 15% of all ad transfers are “false” transfers.
Types of click frauds
According to those who make fraudulent clicks, such click frauds can be divided into the following types:
· Technical click fraud. Such clicks, as a rule, are made by indexing robots on all the links on the page with advertisements. Most of modern systems of contextual advertising detect such clicks quite quickly, and in case of index renewal, renew data of robots addresses in the shortest terms.
· Advertisers clicks. These are ad transfers, which are made by the ordering customers of advertisement. The main purpose of such action is increasing of click-through ratio. As a rule, this way of clicking is chosen by those advertisers who have just started their work.
· Competitors’ clicks. Such clicks are aimed, first of all, at exhausting of ad budget, as well as incorrect calculation of ad campaign efficiency. Sometimes it happens, that employees start their work with clicking ads of their competitors; they write particular keywords in search engine and follow the links. Some years ago it was quite difficult to detect such clicks, as they were made by real people. But today technologies have stepped much further and peel apart rise of unjustified interest immediately.
· Clicks from the representatives of advertising nets, as well as webmasters. The main task of such actions is getting additional profit. Similar fraud is one of the main problems and work against it is done on a constant basis.
So, how is it possible to find out that click fraud takes place? What are the main features of click fraud activity?
Click fraud activity main features
Your advertisement undergoes fraudulence to some extent if you notice one or some of the following activities of click frauds:
· A lot of transfers from the same IP-addresses
· A large number of transfers from the competitors’ websites
· Growing number of website visitors, but the growth of the buyers is the same or even decreases
· The number of transfers grow not just on some particular keywords, but on all of them
If you notice at least one of these activities it’s high time to become extremely suspicious. Well, frankly speaking, you should always keep an eye on all the processes connected with the ads, but if something is going wrong, just start preventing.
Information about method of protection is safely secured with systems of contextual advertising. However, due to the data from open sources, there are some filters:
· Automatic, defining the type clicks: done by a program or a person
· Automatic according to increase – unproved interest
· Automatic on sites profile
· Automatic on the basis of conversion data
· Half-automatic – based on the work of moderators
Click fraud is not limited with just manual clicking. It often happens that transfers are done by bot-programs or scripts. Bots imitate human actions: the user goes on link to the website and leaves it immediately. As a result, budget is “wasted” for a very short period of time, sometimes even for several hours.
How to combat click frauds?
Of course, the challenge is to prevent click frauds as much as possible and increase ad campaign efficiency. To do that properly, use the following methods to “fight” clickfraud:
· Tight targeting. Choose strictly defined target segment, i.e. target audience. Bring you ads to it. It will significantly lower chances for fraudulent actions to appear
· Make your text more optimized – it works better than non-optimized in the top of the list. Real buyers look through all the variants and choose the most attractive for them. as for the fraudsters, they will set sights on the top advertisements, as click frauds bring them much profit.
· Geotargeting. Show your ads only in a target region. Do you really need to distribute it all over the world? Especially if you are targeted on a small region. You will automatically eliminate click fraud threat from the proxy of other countries. Well, frankly speaking, it won’t prevent much from the fraudsters, who work through proxy-server set in your region and without geographical defining. But there no many of them and to detect them becomes much easier.
· Minimizing of the quantity of advertising sites. The lower number of service suppliers, the simpler it will be for you to track efficiency of each of them. don’t advertise on the websites with low reputation – their owners are interested in profit, no matter the ways this profit is received.
· Eurhythmy of ads campaigns. Not to attract careful attention of fraudsters, and also to put across your competitors, it’s reasonable to hold advertising campaigns not on the constant basis, but with periodical breaks. For such period there should be a separate budget. Actions of such types attract less attention and don’t undergo with a thorough analysis among fraudsters.
It should be noted that advertisers are not the only victims of click fraud. Advertising portals, as well as search engines, bear the loss because of decreasing trust to their services. Thus, they always undertake active measures against click fraud. But at present it’s quite difficult to say how much it is efficient.