The Cost of Click Fraud

Posted on

Picture this: your ads are running at optimal performance, your conversion rate is better than expected and your quality scores are great. The next week your campaigns are configured in the same way yet your conversion rate is virtually gone and you are receiving far more clicks than ever before. Presuming that there are no external factors, this is possibly click fraud.

Click fraud is a technique used by deviate competitors to increase the cost of your campaigns and decrease your return on investment (ROI). Internationally, click fraud costs hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Which ad networks suffer the most click fraud?

At the moment, the heat is on Facebook for not having the technology in place to prevent click fraud to the same standard as Google AdWords. In one case, an advertiser’s fraudulent clicks were claimed to be 80% of their total.

Google AdWords was quick to build click fraud prevention technology once the complaints started coming in thick and fast. Although Facebook is aware of the problem, they do not seem to be actively preventing click fraud on their network.

Considerations when choosing an ad network

Today click fraud is evidently here to stay. That means that when choosing the right advertising network, click fraud is unfortunately something that needs to be considered. Depending on the goals of your PPC advertising campaigns, you are likely to have a shortlist of networks in mind. If social and brand awareness is a key goal of your campaign, you will already have Facebook on the mind.
Although at this stage Facebook have not released any spectacular click fraud prevention infrastructure, being a multi-billion dollar company that relies on advertising for revenue they are certain to be working on it. Click fraud should not prevent you from advertising on Facebook and reaching the people you want to reach. Perhaps it will help you value your high quality leads more.
One way to combat the effect of click fraud on your account is to develop high converting landing pages. Generating a higher return from the traffic that is legitimate can offset the fact that some of your paid clicks may not be so legitimate.

About

I'm Matthew, I co-founded Webics and am currently an Executive Director of the company. I specialise in building marketing systems that help businesses work smarter rather than harder on growing great brands with loyal customers. You can circle me on Google+ or follow me on Twitter and Facebook.