Anyone who has been following up on digital advertising trends knows about pay per click campaigns. They are costly but they also yield positive results if done the right way. Like any other platform, some people have come up with different ways to make money off these campaigns without delivering results. Some publishers are guilty of this. Competitors have also found a way of driving up their competition’s costs through click fraud.
Ad fraud has become a menace and it needs to be dealt with. Google realized that there was a problem and came up with ways of safeguarding advertisers against fraud in Google AdWords. The three-pronged approach involves:
· Automated Filters
This is the first and the most basic part of Google AdWords protection. Google has advanced algorithms which detect traffic that isn’t from humans. It also roots out traffic generated by repeat users and IP addresses. This process allows Google to remove these from your report. Consequently, as an advertiser, you don’t end up paying for the invalid activity.
· Manual Reviews
One clear thing about click fraud is that the automated filters by Google will not pick out all the invalid activity. This is why the second part of Google AdWords protection includes a traffic quality team. This team analyzes and reviews the activity on your ad. If anything unusual is detected, the activity doesn’t show up on your report. Therefore, you’re not charged for the invalid activity.
· Further Investigations
Again, quality control considers that some invalid activity will slip through the cracks. An advertiser might be charged for some fraudulent activity. In such a case, it’s up to you to report these suspicions to Google AdWords. The last part in the three-pronged approach has to do with investigations. Google undertakes serious investigations to establish whether or not there was ad fraud. In such a case, you will receive credits for invalid activity adjustments.
Although Google AdWords has measures in place to detect fraudulent activities, you need to go a step further to safeguard your interests as a marketer and an advertiser. You can take up simple measures such as:
· Exclusion of IPs
You cannot afford to leave your ad activity to chance. One important measure you should take in order to detect fraudulent activity is to pay attention to the periodic reports. You can spot an IP or a user whose activity is dominant. This way, you can exclude the IP on Google AdWords. You block off such users and lower your costs in the process.
· Ad Targeting
Ad targeting is another simple strategy to reduce or avoid ad fraud. For this, you would also need to pay attention to your advertisement activity. You may notice that a certain geographical region is prominent in advertisement fraud. The solution is to target your ad to locations other than this one. You also have the added advantage of targeting the right customers for your product or service.
· Ad Scheduling
Scheduling your advertisement is another good way to reduce bot activity. Bots are active during specific times of the day. Therefore, if you schedule your ads when the bots are least likely to see them, it drastically reduces fraudulent ad activity.
Google AdWords has a working and effective system when it comes to detecting any invalid activity. This safeguards the advertiser from unnecessary charges for their pay per click campaigns. However, there are mixed reactions when it comes to establishing the degree of efficiency of the Google AdWords detection process. This means that you also have to take certain measures as a marketer if you want to add another layer of protection and avoid click fraud.