What is Click Fraud,
who is committing it and how does it work

Click Fraud – Explained

We are proud to provide click fraud prevention solutions around the clock for large, medium and small sized businesses. 

But first, we want you to understand how click fraud comes into play in your marketing strategy and how click fraud became a powerful and destructive force against businesses. Let’s state the obvious – most of us spend hours online every day for pleasure and business, promoting our cause, browsing through websites, sharing social media sites and more and more, and while we surf the web, we are constantly exposed to advertising in different levels and types, content advertising, Google ads, Bing ads and display ads by companies trying to sell their goods and services.

Who was the first to do it? The first online ad was a banner ad that landed on our screens in 1993 – a banner ad by AT&T, inviting the site visitors to click (44% of the users actually did!). The rest is history. Now, the competition has moved on from banners and ads to a different major arena – the Search Network, where the google top spots that are highly crucial to any site traffic and conversions. How crucial?
Let’s compare the first two spots on Google search. In certain industries, the first position spot will get 90% of the clicks while the second one will enjoy only the remaining 10 percent. And if you are rated as number three? Well, even though you made it to the top three spots, it doesn’t guarantee you a high click rate, the clicks are taken over by your competitors.

Anyone can reach Millions with a touch of a click – you can be a freelancer, small business owner or simply working temporarily on a project – Google Ads and Bing Ads drive relevant traffic into your site or landing pages if you target your crowd right through successful PPC campaigns and protect your account from click fraud.

what is click fraud Every click is worth a lot of money when competing for the top spot, and competitors will do all they can to take your rating down and take themselves up the rank of Google search results. Google search is the largest billboard in the world and a playground for any business – no matter big or small, but don’t be mistaken – the competition is fierce. Companies and competitors work around the clock to protect their clicks and to take over the number one spot in Google search niche, and the cost of clicks is only going up as the competition spirals.

PPC advertising became essential for running an online or a local business, pushing companies and business owners to upgrade their digital presence, up the odds, and use advanced technology and elaborate algorithms such as Clixtell Click fraud protection to secure their click rate over the competitors. 

A growing problem: the Click Fraud Industry

Nowadays, when we search for any business or interest in Google, we assume we get the search result that is targeted to us by our interests, internet behavior, and even email correspondences. But one cannot forget the weight of the PPC effect on a business – it can make it or break it. The search network is a sophisticated arena, sometimes surrounded by malicious intents, intrusive methods, and harmful beatdown, making the competition, and the cost per click rise. 

click fraud detection Clicks became a commodity. And with that, a new industry is rapidly growing – the Click Fraud industry. Click fraud has been established as a real obstacle and interference in the world of online advertising, people and bots around the world working under one cause – to create fraudulent clicks on Google ads and Google sponsored top results. Some use third-world, cheap labor manual clicking options and some operate from elaborate labs with sophisticated bots and software, but they all have the same goal in mind –  to find more and more ways to target PPC campaigns and cause financial damage, irrelevant lead traffic and potential catastrophe in terms of the use of your marketing budget – it can drain a marketing budget that should last months within seconds, potentially destroying small and medium-sized businesses’ marketing budget.

But it’s not the only reason – they are also constantly fighting for the number one spot, using the Google algorithm to fight the competition. How does it work? Let’s say you as a business define your daily budget and clicks, aiming for 150 clicks a day. If Click Fraud drained your daily budget, providing false leads and fake clicks, the competitor that most likely caused it will immediately benefit from the rest of the clicks, driving the competition to the number one spot at the expense of the latter.

The criminal minds behind the click farm industry

We already know invalid clicks on Google Ads are constantly used in a harmful manner, clicks that are portrayed as legitimate clicks coming from different internet users around the world. But how are those created? Who is actually behind this malicious practice?

Click farms are considered a mysterious subject because of a few major reasons:

  1.  The secrecy about the way they operate and the grey area where they fall under the law, hackers, and criminals are always looking for ways to cause more clicks and more harm in different ways, that’s why you need a sophisticated fraud control partner on your side, working faster than hackers to come up with new block options and prevent click fraud from harming your business.

  2. The involvement of competitors in the market. It is not a sci-fi or a spy movie, it’s the reality of competitors constantly using immoral tactics to gain an advantage over their colleagues. If they manage to take their competition down from the number one spot for the day, as soon as possible, they take over the majority of the leads for the rest of the day and so on, for months and years, weakening the competition and strengthening their own agenda and business. It’s a numbers game.

  3. The different levels they operate – some click farms are huge operations such as the famous case of Google VS Auctions Experts. Google Won $75,000 back from the American Ad Publishing company, proving that Auctions Experts would promote ads online and get paid for it by the client, while also hiring tens of people to perform fraudulent clicks on the same ads (!!!) And it’s just one case out of thousands of cases – operations that can reach Millions of Dollars in damages if not caught and blocked.

  4. On the other hand, some click farms are running in a manual manner, small scale, third-world practices – connecting cell phones to PCs, using low-wage workers etc.

  5. The different intentions behind the click farms – some are created directly to benefit a certain company or person through fraud; and some are created to target different ad agencies and just steal clicks. In fact, some ad tech companies were created solely with the intention of using click farms while also getting paid to place the ads. 

click fraud prevention It all sounds malicious and sometimes fictional but the truth is that it’s a thriving issue that is here to stay and only stoppable by elevated technologies intervening in the process such as Clixtell’s range of solutions. It is not a small prank issue, PPC fraud is a wide criminal issue, with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, in the hands of hackers, criminal organizations, and click farms, all finding ways to get paid by using click-fraud malware.

 

Is it true that some industries suffer more PPC click fraud compared to others?

We suggest any business owner running a significant marketing budget will protect his ads from potential fraudulent clicks.

But there are some industries that are more prone to click fraud than others. Please note that we’re not discussing only nationwide brands, the local market actually tends to use click fraud frequently to beat their main local competitor among a smaller pool of potential customers. The effect of click fraud in small markets could be felt immediately and hurt pockets faster than large scale brands due to a high cost per click and relentless competitors.

What industries, for example?

  • Locksmiths & Plumbers.
  • Speciality Medical services
  • Plastic surgeons and advanced beauty treatments,
  • Dentists and teeth whitening service
  • Legal professions, attorneys, personal injury lawyers, etc.
 

How click fraud prevails in our everyday marketing strategy?

Click fraud prevention has to become a basic part of your overall marketing mechanism in order for your business to avoid unnecessary loss of leads and funds. You can start protecting your business today with Clixtell user-friendly set-up and easy to use dashboard. As soon as you get through the initial setup phase, Clixtell will immediately begin tracking, monitoring, and detecting each and every click in your PPC campaigns and site with optional features of website tracking and call ad tracking. Our smart learning machine abilities will optimize and block any attempt to take over by fraudulent clicks.

How do we secure your PPC advertising budget immediately?
By analyzing and tracking each click by the following criteria:

  • IP address
  • Unique device ID
  • Network service providers
  • VPN providers
  • Proxy servers
  • Geolocation
  • Keywords
  • Time spent on page 
  • On-Page User Behavior
and more! We are constantly on the hunt for new breaches the click fraud industry is coming up with, securing your site and campaigns from all ends.

Attackers stand no chance when faced with our sophisticated algorithm and state-of-the-art tech solutions. We keep your business safe from PPC fraud around the clock, so you can focus on improving results and increasing ROI’s over defending yourself and the business you work so hard to build and develop. Create the path to your own secure success by choosing one of Clixtell’s protection packages and become a force to be reckoned with, with no attackers in sight. Guaranteed.
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