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Avoiding ad fraud

When Google AdWords was launched in October 2000, it’s safe to say that it changed online marketing forever. Now years later it is an integral part of many security companies’ marketing activity. However, just as businesses are enjoying the benefits of using AdWords’ pay per click service, there are certain individuals and organisations out there who are willing to exploit it in more negative ways, writes Roy Dovaston, pictured, of Click Guardian.

If you’re unsure what AdWords is, it’s an advertising platform offered by Google for businesses wanting to display ads on Google and its advertising network. The AdWords platform enables businesses to set a budget for advertising and only pay when people click the ads. The ad programme is mainly focused on keywords and is largely considered one of the best ways of generating new leads, enquiries and sales. With this advertising model in mind, it’s no wonder many security companies rely on per per click advertising, in particular Google AdWords, to create business in their respective catchment areas.

However, the model of pay per click means that activity known as click fraud is always in the back of advertiser minds. Click fraud is when pay per click ads are clicked on maliciously in an attempt to inflate the advertisers’ spend. Coupled with a lack of enquiries due to this behaviour, it leaves the advertiser in a situation whereby they conclude that pay per click doesn’t work and are sadly left with huge advertising bills. Of course, this is a false state of mind and plays into the hands of the perpetrators because it results in their closest competitors pausing their ads, handing them an advantage as competition is driven away.

The problem runs deeper than malicious competitors though, with a reported $6.3 billion global loss expected in 2017 and 36pc of automated bot traffic click through paid ads. Automated bots make up a huge portion of click fraud making it increasingly important to add a layer of security to your AdWords efforts.

It may seem that advertising using Google AdWords is high risk but in actual fact if campaigns are managed correctly, coupled with anti-click fraud monitoring software, using pay per click can still be hugely beneficial and generate new leads for advertisers.

Using an advanced monitoring service to keep a close check on your AdWords visitors is important in order to not fall victim to click fraud. Click Guardian offer a detection and protection service that actively monitors who clicks on your ads, tracks the behaviour of the visitor and automatically blocks in AdWords if excessive clicking is detected. Once a block is issued, ads are no longer delivered to the perpetrator, meaning valuable advertising budget will remain intact.

About the author

Having been managing Google Ads since the inception of Google AdWords, Roy is the owner of a full service digital marketing agency and anti-click fraud specialist Click Guardian – in 2014 Roy realised a major issue was going undetected in the form of excessive clicks on his client’s ads. Click Guardian was born from this.


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