How Google works against Ads Click Fraud in 2019 Policy

Click Fraud is one of the most common issues that advertisers face on Google and other pay-per-click platforms. According to Click Guardian, between 2016 and 2018, $ 7.2 billion was lost through click fraud.
But what exactly is click fraud ? According to Google, this is an unauthorized act, such as an accidental click or click due to malicious software.
In fact, Google does not favor such clicks as fraudulent, and therefore defines them as "invalid clicks" . However, Google uses a number of methods to combat it. These include manual reviewers, automated filters and the commitment of a worldwide team of scientists and engineers.
This article covers some common types of click fraud and legitimate clicks examples. In addition, it is discussed how Google combats click fraud .

The most common types of click fraud

1. Manual clicks to increase advertising costs by competitors

This click fraud happens when other companies competing with your keywords intentionally click on your ads to increase their costs.
Regardless of the keywords you offer, you are unlikely to be the only bidder. For this reason, there is often a real fight for clicks , customers and traffic.
A negative effect here is that it will increase costs for everyone and money can run out quickly, especially on a limited budget. That's why rivals have a strong incentive to click on your ads and increase their costs.
High click fraud industries include, for example, insurance, personal financial services such as mortgages, and more.

2. Manual clicks to increase the profits of website owners

This type of click fraud applies only to customers using the Google Display Network . Because when you run ads on this network, your ads will appear on third-party websites owned by webmasters.

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For a webmaster to serve your ads on their site, you must first join the Google AdSense program . For every person who clicks on your website, the webmaster earns 68% of the amount paid to Google.
If, for example, the costs per click amount to CHF 3.-, the webmaster earns CHF 2.04. If you multiply that amount by hundreds of clicks, you'll quickly get huge sums of money from webmasters themselves.

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Many webmasters struggle to get high-quality traffic and often resort to such tactics - even though this violates Google's strict guidelines.
Google has partnered with millions of websites and apps that deliver ad results through their Google AdSense program . But even before a website is included in the program, it is carefully checked. So the search engine tries to ensure that it meets the high requirements of Google by third-party providers and click fraud is prevented.
Anyone who violates these rules will be immediately removed from the program. This includes suspicious clicks that are of no value to advertisers.

3. Clicks through automated click tools, robots or other deceptive software

These are automated programs that run on Internet servers or hijacked computers and are used for click fraud . These are programmed to generate a large number of invalid clicks , impressions, and traffic that look like real users.
Google uses automated filters to capture such activity. However, the manual checks are usually more effective. Dedicated teams of specialists hunt down the botnets and prevent advertisers, publishers and searchers from being harmed.
Google has also partnered with the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) to create a glossary of common click fraud tactics . In this way, actions such as cookie- filling and crawler traffic should be combated.

4. Accidental clicks that are of no value to the advertiser

This also includes unintentional clicks on the phone. The commitment to such clicks is usually very low and bounce rates are typically up to 100% for all traffic.
Thus, inadvertent clicks for advertisers are of no value, so Google uses its tools to suppress them.

Google is proactively against fraud

Any click that is considered invalid will automatically be filtered out of Google reports and billing plans. So you will not be charged. If clicks have escaped the detection filters, you may be eligible for a credit.

Examples of legitimate clicks

There are legitimate clicks that may seem like scams and it is important to be aware of them. Here are some examples:

Competitors researching competitors

There is nothing you can do to prevent competitors from clicking on your ads. Often, they do this while doing research and, for that purpose, clicking on the advertisements of other advertisers.

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Multiple clicks from the same IP address

If your reports show many clicks from the same IP address, this is probably due to ISP assignment. ISPs often provide the same IP address to a certain number of users.

Recurring visitors

Many viewers click on ads when looking for products and services. You do this several times if you want to make a comparison or return to your website for more information.

What to do if suspected click fraud?

The first step is to optimize your ads and keywords to ensure that only relevant search queries are used. The conversion rate is one of the best indicators of success. Identifying and correcting a low conversion rate helps identify potential invalid activity.
Set up Google Analytics to monitor suspicious activity. Analytics provides powerful reports and helps you track the performance of your keywords and self-assess suspicious clicks from specific locations.

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Check your Google Ads account for invalid interactions for which you have been credited. You can do this by logging in to your account and clicking on "Tools" in the top right corner, then go to "Setup" and then click on the "Billing & Payments" link. View transactions and documents ".

Contact Google in suspicious cases

If you've updated your ads, reviewed your reports, reviewed your billing settings, and still suspect that you are indeed affected by click fraud , contact Google.
In a first step, share as much information as possible. Submit a description of the invalid activity and explain why you suspect shady activity behind it.

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Her team of specialists uses a set of click and impression tools to identify invalid activity. So keep in mind that reviewing the large amount of data may take a few days. However, to get the opinion of Google is advisable!

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