An Overview of Pay Per Click Fraud

From: Mike Lowe

PPC and Click Fraud Management

Thanks to PPC search engine marketing, sellers can reach buyers with speed and precision that wasn’t imaginable a few years ago.

Daily, millions of buyers worldwide go to a search engine (Google, Yahoo, Overture etc.), type in a keyword or two (car loan, boat, shoes etc.) and receive search results along with corresponding ads.

When a surfer clicks on one of these ads, the search engine profits and hopefully, so too does the advertiser as a qualified lead is referred to their website. But not all who are purchasing PPC ads are smiling - enter click fraud.

What is Click Fraud?

Google generally interprets click fraud as malicious or artificial clicks and Overture, clicks not conducted in good faith.

Those who have been known to engage in click fraud are competitor businesses, unscrupulous search engine affiliates (who set up their own sites and then click away on affiliate sites pocketing fraudulent commissions) and those who deploy deceptive software to artificially click away PPC ads. Evidence is mounting that click fraud is plundering 20 – 50% of PPC ad campaigns.

While most search engine ad vendors say that they protect their advertiser’s against click fraud by employing screening/detection processes and techniques, those who pay for the PPC ads must rely solely on the fraud detection technology of the ad provider – the very same company from whom they’re purchasing their ads.

Click Fraud Victims Get Refunds

Click Sentinel has developed a solution that is helping PPC advertisers measure how much click fraud is actually occurring in their campaigns. This in turn is producing some lucrative refunds. The company recently received this unsolicited, glowing testimony.

“I called my Adwords account rep (yes I spend enough money - have my own rep) and told them I had started using your system and was shocked at the fraud that was going on that their system wasn’t catching. I asked my rep if she was familiar with your service and she said she was.

Anyways to make a long story short, about 4 hours after my conversation she called me back and said that they had investigated and found that yes there was some unusual activity in my account and that I would be receiving a credit. When asked how much, with hesitation she said, a couple of thousand dollars.”

Click Sentinel could be the PPC ad campaigns guardian angel.