If you’re using pay per click advertising, or paying by ad impressions, have you ever wondered how many of these clicks are seen by real humans? Perhaps you’ve heard of click fraud and you’re curious what is PPC click fraud, and how to prevent it?

Read also: What Are PPC Ad Networks and Everything You Need to Know

What is clicking scamming? Click fraud is when a person or a bot pretends to be a legitimate visitor on a webpage and clicks on an ad, a button, or some other type of hyperlink. The goal of click fraud is to trick a platform or service into thinking real users are interacting with a web page, ad, or app.

Click fraud usually occurs on a large scale. Each link is clicked many times, not just once, and usually multiple links are targeted. To automate this process, click fraudsters often use bots that click over and over. Bots comprise roughly 50% of all Internet traffic. As much as 20% of websites that serve ads are visited exclusively by fraudulent click bots.

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For more information, click fraud can have a variety of motivations. Most often, especially with ad fraud, the fraudsters are after financial gain. Sometimes, companies use click fraud to hurt their competitors’ ad budgets by targeting their PPC (Pay Per Click) ads with fraudulent clicks. 

Why Click Fraud Matters?

What is clicking illegal? Click fraud is committed for two main reasons: to reduce competition among advertisers or to generate revenue by gaming the PPC advertising system.

For example, a malicious attacker may maliciously attempt to make it look like a publisher is clicking on its own ads, which could cause an advertising network to end its relationship with that publisher thinking that they are acting in bad faith. 

Since PPC advertising revenue is the primary source of income for some publishers, this practice can put a publisher out of business.

Read also: Guide on How to Choose PPC Ad Networks in Malaysia

Click fraud may also be committed in some cases simply to vandalize without a particular financial motive or when friends, family, or fans of a publisher click on ads on a website to generate more revenue for the publisher. Both forms can be difficult to detect.

How Click Frauds Works?

What is responsible for click fraud? 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. 

Click through rate is a ranking factor that search engines like Google take into account, although it’s not known how much of a factor it is. 

The goal of click fraud in this scenario is to increase the click through rate of a webpage, thereby increasing the search engine ranking and causing more real users to visit the page.

How to Preventing Invalid Clicks?

Click fraud can be difficult to detect, but there are some steps you can take to help prevent it. There’s no surefire way of eliminating click fraud, but if you’re conscious of it, then you can limit its impact. Here are 5 tips on how to prevent invalid clicks.

Be Aware of Your Competitors

Always pay attention to who is competing with your keywords in the search engines. Use Google to search for the keywords you are considering targeting, and see which other businesses are also creating ads for those keywords. 

Determine if the keywords you have in mind have commercial intent by checking the competitive click fraud in paid search. 

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You can also note any other relevant keyword phrases you can target, again checking for commercial intent. 

Use the relevant keyword phrases to help you find more specialised keywords to target, thus lowering the number of competitors for your ads but increasing the likelihood of clicks and conversions.

Think about How You Run Display Ad

According to PPC Protect, display ads are much more susceptible to click fraud. This makes sense because you’ve got the added element of publisher click fraud, which isn’t present with search ads.

You have control over how your display ads are shown, though, and one option is to focus on retargeting.

If you’re running retargeting ads, then they’re only visible to people who have visited your website in the past. This means the publisher won’t be able to see your ads on their site and isn’t able to keep clicking them.

Concentrate on Ad Targeting

The more targeted your ads are, the more successful they’re likely to be. It’s also likely to make them less susceptible to click fraud.

You want to get your ads in front of people who will take action, so it’s important you’re targeting your ads toward your audience

Not only might focusing your attention on a smaller geographic area make your ads more effective, but it might make it more difficult for people to click them fraudulently.

Focus on Social Media Ads

Social media ads are much less keyword-based than paid ads on search engines. This makes it much more difficult for people to type in a keyword and see your ad.

Platforms like Facebook have so much information on their users, which means it’s possible to be very targeted with the people you reach. This reduces the chance of click fraud and allows you to get a better return on your paid ads.

Unlike with display ads, social media platforms don’t have third-party owners either, so this eliminates publisher click fraud, making your ads that little bit safer.

Use Click Fraud Protection Software

There are lots of different providers of click fraud protection services. Companies such as ClickCease, Oracle, CHEQ, and PPC Shield monitor your ads using algorithms to detect fraud, quarantining fraudulent clicks.

Whether you choose to invest in this kind of protection will depend on the scale of your PPC campaigns and if you think you’re suffering from click fraud. The nice thing is if these platforms work, then you should quickly start to see the results in your data.

What Is the Best Way to Block Frauds?

Click fraud is a black-hat technique of falsely inflating the number of clicks on a pay-per-click ad. Here are 4 best ways to block frauds.

Turn to Facebook/Twitter Ads

The great thing about utilizing these platforms is that your ads will only show on these platforms, it means that there are no third-party publishers involved in the process. This cuts out a significant source of click fraud. 

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But what about malicious competitors’ clicks? Actually, this version of click fraud is also less prevalent on paid social networks because their advanced targeting options are so specific. Since ad placement is based on a keyword search, it’s much more difficult for competitors to find your ads.

Set up IP Exclusion

If you’ve been through your data and decided that certain IP addresses are clicking your ads fraudulently, then you can block them. This will mean your ads aren’t shown to the IP addresses you’ve identified as fraudulent.

This might be a way to spot some click fraud on your ads, but some of these operations are quite sophisticated, so it’s not a fool-proof method.

Only Target High-Value Sites

Often associated with bots that automatically target your site and ads, low-quality websites are a huge source of click fraud. Avoid low-quality websites by only running your ads on sites you know are full of potential customers.


What is click fraud quizlet? Click fraud is a complicated issue that could be affecting your PPC ads. While Google and the other search engines are taking action to prevent click fraud and refund you for illegitimate clicks, it’s not a perfect science. 

This is why it’s sometimes worth taking a proactive approach to ensure you’re getting the most out of your PPC.

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