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Click Fraud Detection: An Idiot`s Guide by Larry-Scot

Google click fraud is a real threat to IT industry. Some experts call it a plague that is killing many perspective websites. Google allows businesses of all sizes advertise and be a part of this amazing world of e-commerce but it also stimulates all sorts of fraudsters who want to earn easy money.

Back in 2014 Google predicted that click fraud will be the biggest problem of IT industry. Advertisers didn't listen to that words much, and now they reap the fruits of their ignorance. That is why the knowledge about click fraud detection is gaining importance.

I bet I can guess what you are thinking about: “What?Another Internet conspiracy?” But let's just look at the numbers before discussing the possibilities of click fraud monitoring software ( do you really need it?) like TEA Software. I trust statistics a lot because statistics rarely makes mistakes:

Fact: the Association of National Advertisers claims that roughly 62% of all marketing budgets of big companies are eaten by click fraud.

In my humble opinion, the numbers of ANA are a bit exaggerated so you should always have a second opinion. If you`d ask me, a person with experience in e-commerce marketing who created numerous PPC campaigns, I would tell that click fraud rate depends on many factors.

Exchanges that don't have trust may have a huge click fraud rate: up to 50%, while respected exchanges may have as much as 10% of fraudulent clicks.  But don't worry, after reading this you will know what to do.

Detect Click Fraud by Larry-Scot

So What is Click Fraud?

Most people think that click fraud automatically means bots. But you need to understand that a great percentage of click fraud is done by human beings, and in this case click fraud detection becomes problematic.And that is why people buy click fraud monitoring software.

In general, every manifestation of click fraud has one or more characteristics mentioned above:

  • Traffic generated by bots

  • Directed misinterpretation

  • Zero visibility

Still, bots are the most dangerous aspect of click fraud. Bots can do fake clicks easily, they can watch videos for millions of times exhausting the budget of the company. In rare cases, they can even produce fake submissions and  mess up with a conversion rate. Bots are the main goal of click fraud detection. It`s the main target of click fraud monitoring software as well. 

Primitive Bots and Sophisticated Bots.

But not all bots are made in the same way. There are primitive bots that are easy to detect. They are basically scripts with regular IP addresses, and click fraud detection of such bots does not seem too challenging. If you want to get rid of these primitive bots you can use click fraud monitoring software or just block them manually after traffic analysis (which is tiring).

There are more complex bots as well, I would even call them sophisticated because they utilize a number of tricks. For instance, they can have random proxies to have multiple IP addresses.

Cunning and sophisticated bots can imitate human behavior patterns very skillfully: click on videos, “watch” them for several minutes. They can even pretend humans by imitating the movements of the mouse. Sophisticated bots cannot be detected without sophisticated click fraud monitoring software.

Botnets: Is Click Fraud Detection Possible?

Botnets are a more serious issue because botnets use a large number of computers to operate thousands or millions of bots.

Hackers are in control of these computers ( sometimes their owners can be unaware that their favorite PCs are misused). Click fraud detection of botnets requires professional help.

These arrays of computers are utilized to create huge click frauds that can exhaust the budget of a big company. Thus, in the most recent scam called Mehbot, Russian hackers managed to create a real army of bots.

These bots are real zombies because they can watch 300 million videos a day. If you know how much video ads cost, you can imagine the loss.  Armies of bots like this are almost impossible to block and even to detect without high-quality click fraud monitoring software.

But scams like Mehbot are illegal and they creators bear criminal responsibility.The good news is that since all the bots, even the most exquisite bots are just programs, they can be traced. You just need to choose right click fraud monitoring software.

Click Fraud Detection by Larry-Scot

Human Traffic: Is Click Fraud Detection Necessary?

After all that was said about bots you must be thinking: should I bother about human traffic at all? These are just humans, after all, they can`t watch 300 million videos as day.

However, you shouldn't underestimate fraudulent human traffic in any case. Yes, there are real people clicking on ads but their clicks are fraudulent! You can even miss this type of click fraud if you're looking for bots only. Click fraud monitoring software gains special meaning in this case because it`s the only tool of click fraud detection. People are usually hired to click ads after reading about “earn from home”.

Some More Tricks You Didn`t Know About

  • Click fraud can take another form of invisible ads. Hackers can hide ads behind other ads.And it`s impossible for users to reach the target ads which create multiple false impressions.

  • Another trick is reselling the traffic for a higher price. This type of click fraud causes traffic inflation and misrepresents the space available for advertising.

  • You can also encounter the fraud which is called ad injection. If an ad is injected it can be replaced from the site. Click fraud detection becomes really challenging in this case.

So you must have understood by now how important it is to protect your website from click fraud. It`s essential if you want to generate a high-quality traffic and increase conversion rate. Actually, your PPC campaign optimization must start just from it: detection of click fraud.

Here are three things you can do to deal with click fraud:

  1. Audit your marketing campaign regularly with the help of basic marketing tools, like Google Analytics or with the help of click fraud monitoring software and analyze the data. This is the basis of click fraud detection you should keep in your mind.  Strange traffic level must lead to the idea of blocking suspicious users and avoiding unreliable publishers. It`s always effective to work with tested websites.

  2. Have a black list of the sites that let you down at least once and that are not worth your attention. Keeping such a blacklist is self-protection measure.

  3. And the last but not the least, install click fraud monitoring softwarebecause it's the only thing that can help you avoid sophisticated bots or botnets. Even if you analyze your traffic yourself thoroughly, you won't be able to spot complex and cunning bots that mimic human behavior patterns.

So you see, click fraud detection is a real problem today but there are still many methods to stop it. Click fraud detection must become a basis of any marketing campaign.Experts don't doubt that click fraud monitoring software is the best protection against click fraud today. Because you should use a smart program to stop a bot who is trying to eat all you marketing budget.

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Submitted on
September 19, 2017
Submitted with Writer