Google remains by far the most popular search engine in the world. This is especially true in Belgium: with a 92% search quota in Belgium, Google remains the undisputed leader among search engines.
Unfortunately, this marketing potential also attracts the attention of malicious practices. Click fraud is one of the best known among them. It is also one of the most annoying: you lose a part of your online visibility and you pay for clicks that are useless to you.
Click fraud in Google Ads: what is it?
Click fraud is the phenomenon whereby third parties deliberately click on text ads on the Internet in order to harm the advertiser. Click fraud is particularly associated with Google Ads.
Although click fraud is always performed by generating artificial clicks that cause the advertiser to lose money, there can be several reasons for this. For example, the intention may simply be to make the advertiser lose money. After all, every click on an ad costs money, whether it is real or fraudulent.
Another possible motive for click fraud is to scare away the competition. By clicking on competitors’ ads and exhausting their daily budget, the perpetrator ensures that only his own ads are shown.
Finally, the motive for click fraud can also be a personal quarrel or a rivalry between competitors.
Our experience shows that click fraud is mainly a problem for emergency services and sectors with considerable online competition. It often affects a large proportion of the advertisers in this sector.
Combating click fraud
While Google is working hard to combat click fraud, we have to be realistic: as long as ads are being clicked and therefore generating revenue, Google won’t change much. This is precisely why third-party fraud prevention tools, such as ClickCease, have become so important in recent years.
The power of a tool like ClickCease is twofold: on the one hand, ClickCease makes it easy to submit a fraud report to Google. This fraud report is the best way to get some of your click budget back from Google.
On the other hand, ClickCease also automatically blocks fraudulent IP addresses with a few optimized settings. As soon as an IP address is considered harmful, it will no longer be able to see your ads. The person or bot behind the IP address can no longer click on your ad. This is a very valuable feature that has already saved us a considerable amount of money on several advertising accounts.
In the Google Ads graph above, we see that the account suffered from false clicks throughout the quarter. This is also shown in the ClickCease graph below, where the orange bars represent the number of blocked IPs.
You can see that click fraud still exists, even though we use ClickCease, but using fraud prevention tools minimizes the problem. The performance of this ClickCease account for the last quarter gives a good idea of the number of fraudulent clicks blocked and the budget saved. A budget that can be spent on relevant and convertable visitors.
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