Click fraud impact occurs when a pay-per-click advertisement is clicked on by a user with malicious or disingenuous intent. Click fraud first came to light in 2005, when several major cases were taken to court.

What is click-fraud quizlet? Click fraud is a known term among pay-per-click (PPC) experts and digital marketers. It’s one of the common obstructions to running your successful PPC campaign

Read also: What Is the PPC Campaign Objective and Why Is It important?

As a business person, your goal is to maximize your ad budget’s expenses by promoting ads to the right audience. Click fraud is one of your biggest obstacles as it makes you pay for clicks from robots and deceitful sources. 

How Click Fraud Works?

Is click fraud illegal? Click fraud is when someone tries to game search engine rankings by artificially boosting the click through rate. “Click through rate” refers to how many users out of all the total visitors to a page click on a certain link. Here is how click fraud works.

Business Competitors

Competing businesses may click on each other’s advertisements to waste each other’s ad budgets. By the time you reach your click ad limit, it will be taken down, leaving your competitor with the benefit of ranking first. 

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That’s why if you conduct detailed research, you may be able to identify competitive click-fraud businesses’ IP addresses. If you can, you’re entitled to blacklist these specific IP addresses to minimize these fraudsters.  

Click Farms

Some businesses hire an organization full of people whose task is to click on ads for various reasons. These are used to maximize traffic volumes on websites or boost the popularity of social media profiles. 

However, the clicks aren’t from potential buyers, but they’re usually from real people. This is what you call click farms, which are a combination of bots and real people.

Automated Programs (Botnets)

Possibly the biggest criminals of click fraud are robots. These malicious computer programs (botnets) automatically browse the Internet and carry out clicks, attempting to pass as human.  

How Much of an Impact Does Click Fraud Have?

What is clicking methods? Click fraud can be extremely unsettling for well-to-do publishers and advertisers on search, particularly during a time when many businesses are operating with an incredibly tight budget. Here are the top impacts brought about by click fraud.

High Bounce Rate

There can be plenty of factors that make a visitor click on your link and then click back out within a few seconds. It may be due to the slow loading time of your landing page, the site is poorly designed, or there are too many page ads that redirect to other websites if clicked unintentionally.   

For PPC ads, a fair bounce rate is around 40-50%. If you detect bounce rates lower than that, that is a positive thing. Anything over 60-70% implies you may need to review your ad’s performance. 

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If this doesn’t change anything, start investigating how to stop those invalid clicks as it may be due to ad clicker bot from deceitful sources and robots. 

High Traffic But Low Conversions

Click fraud speeds up your click-through rate, where your conversion rate is usually based. Getting many clicks without customers making any sale or purchase reflects a low conversion rate. 

You may think that lots of clicks will equal lots of conversions. But, with click fraud, that’s not necessarily the case. If you often see a low conversion rate, it may be worth checking your ad first. 

Wasted Advertisement Budget

Click fraud immediately drives up your advertising costs if not fixed for a long time. While some publishers declare that they can detect click fraud, it still can’t stop 100% of it. The rest only becomes a lost investment for you.

Distorted Campaign Data

An indirect but enormous cost to advertisers is how click fraud distorts your campaign data. 

Click fraud drastically affects the accuracy of the data that businesses base their decisions on regarding sales, production, reached target audience, and more. Such fraudulent acts result in inconsistent and inadequate data for advertisers.

How to Protect Yourself from Click Fraud?

What is clicking illegal? The symptoms of click fraud overlap with those of exceptionally good and bad campaigns. If you suspect click fraud, report the suspicious activity to your ad platform. In many cases, you’ll receive credit if click fraud is proven or suspected. Here are some tips on how to prevent yourself from click fraud.

Take a Proactive Approach to Prevention

The easiest way to deal with click fraud is to prevent it. While protection methods aren’t foolproof, they can reduce or even eliminate damaging attacks.

You can sharpen your ad targeting. The more specific your ad targeting, the less likely click fraud is to occur. Target specific countries or locations where your target audience is most active.

If you do 98% of your business in the United States and Europe, for example, consider excluding countries outside of those locations to reduce your risk. You can still reach that tiny subset of buyers via other channels without risking your entire ad spend.

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Generally speaking, higher quality ad placements are less susceptible to bots and other forms of click fraud. They also cost more.

Block Sketchy IP Address

Block IP addresses causing invalid clicks with software or manually block them in your campaigns. 

Usually, click fraud comes from an unexpected location, which means your location targeting wasn’t as specific as you might have thought. 

While blocking IP addresses in Google Ads is simple, identifying them requires evaluating your server logs. Google Analytics no longer allows you to see the IP addresses of visitors to your site, and Google Ads never has (since it constitutes personally identifiable information).

Consider Click Fraud Software

Tackling click fraud on your own may not be the most effective solution, but software can help.

Google and other platforms should take action to limit the clicks from users who do not have a legitimate browsing history, as simple safeguards like this can help prevent click fraud.

Many software solutions are also available in the space to prevent click fraud, such as ClickGuard, so marketing professionals have options to monitor their campaigns using third-party tools.

Use Audience to Prequalify Impressions and Clicks on Suspicious Publishers 

If you set your ads to target and observe, the only folks who will have access to your ads are people in your audience lists. Yes, there need to be 1,000 people in a 30-day period for the list to work, but it can be a powerful way to protect your marketing dollars. 

In many cases, click fraud is actually a targeting mistake. The average brand doesn’t sit there clicking on competitors’ ads. Even if they did, the ad networks would flag them for suspicious activity and begin counting those clicks as invalid.

The best way to prevent click fraud is to regularly audit your campaigns and analytics, ensuring traffic is coming from intended sources, and you haven’t left yourself open to a targeting mishap.


Who is responsible for click fraud? If you think there’s an existing fraud on your ads, take measures to extinguish them. Make sure you monitor any invalid clicks and enlist click fraud software to minimize the damages. 

The more careful you are, and the more time you spend on fraud protection, the more valuable ad traffic will be and the higher the chances of conversions.

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