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Do You Suspect Click Fraud? Here’s a Simple Solution…

by Neil Kerr on 26th September 2008

We recently had reason to suspect that one of our client’s Pay per Click campaigns was being targeted by one of their competitors. We suspected that they were clicking the ads to try and use up the daily budget early in the day. The trouble was how to identify who was clicking the Ads.There are many expensive Click Fraud solutions available but we found a simple and free way of checking who was clicking the ads by using Statcounter.

By putting the Statcounter code on the website pages we were able to easily see the IP addresses of the clickers. This clearly showed that two Competitors were in fact clicking the ads. We then forwarded our findings to Google and hope this will result in a refund for our AdWords client.

Whilst click fraud is on the decline, it is still something that anyone who engages in paid search needs to be aware of. There is big business in draining competitors’ daily budgets, which is what makes it such an attractive concept to unscrupulous types.

It is for this reason that you have to be vigilant with your PPC campaigns. Unlike other elements of search engine marketing, paid search requires constant attention. Not only do you have to optimise campaigns to ensure you are achieving a decent ROI, but you also have to look out for this kind of irregular activity.

This is why many companies choose to outsource their paid search to a professional Pay per Click Management company. Whilst it will invariably cost you money on top of your usual bids, it could also help you to get the most out of your campaigns and cut click fraud out at source.

But to reiterate, if you do suspect that your ads may be subject to click fraud, follow the steps above and report it. The sooner you are able to identify the problem and pass on your concerns, the sooner it will all be sorted.

Neil Kerr

Neil has a wide experience of search marketing experience having worked with a wide range of companies during his time in-house.


  • StatCounterJen 5th November 2008

    Hi folks,

    I just wanted to stop by and thank you for letting us know how StatCounter has helped you to help your client! We were delighted to hear that you were able to use StatCounter to detect Click Fraud and secure a refund for your customer.

    At StatCounter, we work hard to provide the best service we can and stories like this serve to motivate the entire StatCounter Team to keep improving the service for the benefit of all our members.

    All the best!

    Reply to this comment

  • umaianime 6th November 2008

    I think one must be cautious when dealing PPC the business will be ruined. I have been using statcounter and it has been really useful

    Reply to this comment

  • Sangesh 7th November 2008

    Thanks for this valuable info, and always statcounter is a valuable service for anyone.

    Reply to this comment

  • DFAL 7th November 2008

    When I looked into PPC advertising, the minimum cost for me was $0.10 per click. The cost could add up very quickly from click fraud. It was nice that Google agreed to refund the cost incurred as a result of the click fraud. I don’t think they are under any legal responsibility to do so, though, are they?

    Reply to this comment

  • Chris 15th November 2008

    @DFAL –

    Yes, Google is under legal responsibility to refund click fraud charges. It is part of the agreement they make with their AdWords Advertisers. They even give tools to request credit for questionable clicks.

    Reply to this comment

  • Tom 27th November 2008

    Statcounter is the best free tool available! Thank you so much for Statcounter.

    We are using it now for one year.

    Identify IP from unwanted visitors is easy and useful to add them to our IP deny manager
    Also one of many reasons we keep statcounter in our site is it does not make it slow to load the page :)

    Only one thing we couldn’t figure out: What is this about the 0 Second visitors?

    Reply to this comment

  • mike linley 7th December 2008

    Its I good thing I am installing statcounter!

    Reply to this comment

  • Garni 21st December 2008

    Dear Statcounter,

    What a fantastic free tool you have given us. We just love the World Map solution. Thank you so much!

    Reply to this comment

  • Richie Rich 7th March 2009

    I love the tool, keep up the good work.

    Reply to this comment

  • christian 13th March 2009

    i never thought that such a tool exists for free. even if i had to pay it, i would pay. it’ a fantastic realtime service. i just love it. and it beats up google analitics, which is not realtime. shame … :)

    Reply to this comment

  • Picasso 31st March 2009

    StatCounter is definitely my favorite to use along side Google Analytics. Google Analytics seems to break down massive amounts of visitors better than the free Stat Counter. BUT, when used together, you get the mass breakdown of data from GA, and a PER VISIT BREAKDOWN from StatCounter. That way you get the macro and the micro. StatCounter has a pay version too, which I’m sure is also really awesome.

    Reply to this comment

  • Pavan 6th April 2009

    No doubt statcounter is one of the best and free tool to counter clickfraud. I have been using their service since 2002. Havent tested google analytics yet, but will do so.

    Reply to this comment

  • Chelo 21st April 2009

    Muchas gracias.

    Reply to this comment

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