Thursday, May 22, 2008

Click Fraud War - AdSense Publishers Armed Yourself with the Right Tools

Major PPC companies such as Google and Yahoo decline to quantify the scope of click fraud. However, some estimate click fraud range from a few percent to more than twenty percent. Click fraud occurs when a person, automated script, or computer program imitates a legitimate user of a web browser clicking on an ad. These clicks are done for the purpose of either to drain competitor’s marketing budget or generate advertising income.
Who Commits Click Fraud?

* Business Competitors: Competitors of a business try to drain opponent’s pay per click (PPC) marketing budget by clicking on their PPC ads deliberately. They may click themselves, have friends or employees click or use software to click the ads. Advertiser’s PPC ad will automatically stop showing on the ads listing if the daily budget of PPC campaign is set. Competitors can then bid at a lower price for the same position.

* Web Publishers: Many web publishers are making money by showing ads syndicated by PPC companies such as Google, Overture, Yahoo and etc. They earn money from clicks on these ads. Some publishers fraudulently generate clicks on their own ads in order to make money or make more money quickly.

* Networks of Clickers: There are few networks of clickers organized by fraudsters to click PPC ads. In these networks, each member is asked to click on other member’s PPC ad in return for other members to click on his ad.

* Bad People: Plain old mean people know that they can easily drive advertiser’s marketing budget to the roof or kick publishers out of the PPC advertising business by clicking on their PPC ads deliberately and frequently.

PPC companies such as Google and Yahoo do not tolerate click fraud and they have sophisticated anti click fraud systems in place to fight click fraud. These systems will monitor incoming clicks and then discard fake clicks. However, these systems relied on unrevealed artificial intelligent click fraud patterns are far from perfect and sometimes not effective. Besides, the current systems provide no protection for the publishers. These systems do not alert the publishers for click fraud activities happened on their websites. Publishers could easily be banned from the PPC advertising program for click fraud activities which they did not commit.
How Do Publishers Monitor and Stop Click Fraud?

To prevent click fraud and protect your AdSense business, you should install a more sophisticated AdSense tracking tool, such as Adlogger, on your AdSense website. You should constantly monitor your AdSense site using AdSense tracking tool in conjunction with Google AdSense channel.

These advanced tracking tools will give you extra tracking information and features which are not provided by AdSense Channel. These information and features include:

* Which Ad has been clicked
* The details of PPC Ads
* The time and origins of each click.
* The browsing history of each IP on your site
* Alert you and stop multiple clicks from the same IP
* Block certain IP from click on your AdSense Ads

With a more complex tracking tool installed on your website, it would be easier for you to spot any unusual click activities on your websites. Once you have discovered unusual activities on your AdSense site, you can alert PPC companies about these activities immediately and let them investigate the problem. This will provide your AdSense business minimum protection against click fraud.


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This information is great! I am a complete rookie in the ppc management field, and I need all the help I can get to make it through this online advertising jungle. I hope to find more useful blog posts here that will expand my online marketing knowledge. Thanks a lot for putting this up!

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