I’m sure many businesses worry about this.

“What if my competitor is sat at their desk all day just clicking on my PPC ads? It’ll cost me a huge amount of money while I’m getting no benefit whatsoever.”

Well not to worry, Google are far too smart for that to happen, their fraud detection is second to none.

Within your Adwords campaigns there is an option to add a column called “invalid clicks” to your main information interface. This shows you the clicks Google thinks are spam. If Adwords senses that a large number of clicks are coming from a single computer it will be asked to complete a CAPTCHA, this skyrockets when IP’s aren’t logged into Google and repeating searches. Invalid clicks are picked up by Google very quickly, this could be why you see difference between number of clicks on Adwords and number of clicks in the “Paid Search” section of Google Analytics. Analytics will record all of the clicks whereas Adwords only records the ones it feels are valid.

If a Google account (person or robot) searches in through Google and is thought to be clicking in an “automated fashion” the account will be served with CAPTCHA’s. Adwords will then start to flag up clicks from this account as “invalid”. If a person continues to make the same searches and click the same ads eventually Google will stop showing them those adverts. Even if a user goes to Google and uses IP and cookie tools to rotate and make it look like each click is a new person, Google will be able to flag the query and pull those clicks.

Click fraud is a regular occurrence however if you are using Google’s PPC networks you are safe, the amount that slides through is minimal and it is likely to not affect your business. Google tracks what users click on/ search. Even if I went on and clicked on one ad every day Google would know I was up to something and mark my clicks as “invalid”.

For more information about PPC and Google Adwords contact us.

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