Click Fraud: The Dark Side of Online Advertisement

Pay per click has been one of the greatest boons in the advertising industry. PPC has been a good source of income for many sites. But there is one threat namely click fraud that has been bothering the advertisers. Click fraud is a type of internet crime that is practiced on pay per click advertisements. A person, automated script or computer program emulate as a real user of web and click on these ads to generate income for the clicker.


Signs of Click Fraud:

You need to be cautious about whether your ad campaign in under an attack of click fraud. You need to be familiar with several aspects of the campaign and its performance. Here are some behaviors that indicate click fraud:

  • Unexplained inflow of traffic for specific terms.
  • Sudden change in the click count that has sustained a certain level.
  • A better indicator is being able to identify existence of wide variations in the return on advertising spend from one day, week or month.
  • Abnormal spike in activity.
  • Significant differences in similar terms like website design and website designs.

Click Fraud Awareness and Prevention Solutions:
The best way of preventing click fraud is by being aware of the server logs to identify the CTR and conversion rate. A good conversion tracker will help you be aware of the statistics of your ad campaign. There are other ways you can reduce the chances of click fraud.

  • Ban IP addresses:
    The first method of preventing click fraud is by banning certain IP addresses From viewing your website. This is not an appropriate method as you might be losing potential customers by doing so. Therefore you need to be careful before following this step.
  • Broader distribution of keywords:
    Advertising for highly searched terms might bring good traffic but you risk of greater exposure of click fraud. Since these terms come with higher price tag, there are greater chances of click fraud. To prevent this you need to advertise the terms that have low price range and are comparatively less competitive.
  • Affordable bidding:
    You need to bid for terms suiting your budget. You need to specify how much you are willing to pay per click or per sale and the maximum amount you are ready to pay for the advertisement per day, week or month.
  • Analytics expert:
    You can take help of analytics package such as ClicksTracks or Google Analytics to prevent click fraud.

Online advertisement is a competitive industry. Keeping this in mind it is important for the advertisers to be aware of click frauds and keep in track of their ad campaigns. If you think it takes too much of your time and energy then you can always take help of experts to ensure your investment is not pilfered.

JULY 3, 2008 ISSUE #17