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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 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.