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How to check for click fraud in your AdWords campaigns

No doubt click fraud is a huge problem in the PPC industry and what’s worse is that over the past few years, the rate of click frauds has increased. It is now a serious problem for advertisers. After all, you could be losing your money and customers.

The unfortunate thing is that if you don’t look for signs, you will never get to figure out you are a victim of the fraud.

Click fraud occurs when a user frequently clicks one of your adverts without the intention of buying your product/service. If you are well familiar with how AdWords works, you would know that you have to pay for these clicks whether the user converts or not. Your competitors could be purposely clicking through your adverts. It’s not just them but many webmasters running third-party ads on their websites sometimes try to get additional revenue by clicking ads.

Every advertiser must know how to identify click fraud. There are different techniques for ad fraud detection that can help you dig deep into the problem. Let’s discuss them one by one:

Look for a sudden spike in traffic

You must keep a close eye on the Google AdWords and Google Analytics report. Analytics clearly shows you which traffic is coming from AdWords. You will have to review the traffic regularly and look for strange spikes. In the ‘Acquisition’ section of analytics, visit the ‘AdWords’ section and look under ‘Campaigns.’ You will be able to see which keywords are bringing traffic. You can also extract keywords reports and overall clicks reports from Google AdWords.

Monitor user behavior

The only way you can minimize click fraud is when you are able to identify it. Whether you are a victim or not, you should develop a habit of checking the PCC program every day. Check out which keywords and ads are yielding you the most positive results.

Look at the dimension, frequency and reach. This will give a good idea that whether these clicks are coming from a single IP address or browser. You can also check the click-through rate against the bounce rate for each day.

Look for traffic from unusual locations

If your web traffic is coming from locations outside your geo-targeting, this should make you suspicious right away. One or two clicks are normal but if the traffic from an unusual location is higher, then you might be a target of fraud.

What is your current bounce rate?

If the bounce rate and shorter sessions on your website have increased of all a sudden, that’s another indicator of click fraud. This could also happen if the PPC manager is targeting a new or unsuitable audience too but if he hasn’t made any changes in the campaign, then you have a problem.

Get the invalid click report from Google

This is one of the easiest ways of identifying click fraud. This report will show a sudden surge within your AdWords. It shows all the clicks prevented by Google from entering your campaign since they look invalid. Chances are Google has dealt with these clicks already and reimbursed you for them too. But if the number is rising that means one of your competitors is trying to undertake click fraud against you. In order to access this report, go to the ‘Columns’ tab at your dashboard. Then select ‘Modify Columns.’ Choose ‘Performance’ from the menu, and click on ‘invalid Clicks and Invalid Rate’ to view the results.

When looking for click fraud, it is recommended not to get paranoid. Yes, click fraud is a huge problem but you can catch it if you manage and review your PPC campaign regularly. Don’t blame click fraud for every change in your data. As an advertiser or a campaign manager, you must know about other possible causes that can change the CTR other than click fraud. Here are other possible causes:

· You have changed your campaign’s daily budget

· You have changed the maximum CPC for an AdGroup or a keyword

· You are using new or relevant keywords

· When you have changed the keyword match type

· The display ads have started showing on new third-party websites

A good thing is that Google has taken aggressive preventive measures to combat click fraud. It can detect the fraud clicks in our report before you see them and it even reimburses for it. Google has even dedicated the Ad Traffic Quality Resource Center to identify and deal with click frauds. If you think you can’t manage the problem, you can always visit https://ppc-agency.london/ for help.

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