What Is This Click Fraud That Is Costing The Digital Ad Industry Billions24-Jun-2020
In recent time, companies that fall into the digital advertising space have faced more criticism and lawsuits that relate to its response to click fraud. Most of them are even losing billions each year to fraudsters who engage in all forms of click fraud.
What is click fraud?
Usually, some ads show up on different search result. When a person clicks on these ads, the advertiser is made to pay for each click. Most times, these ads do not convert into sales because it could just be someone sitting on a computer and mindlessly clicking over a single ad or a computer program doing the same thing.
Basically, click fraud is more about the intention of the click, but the question so many people as is how do you figure out that someone is committing click fraud and why do they do that?
Well, when a person or an organization commits a click fraud, the intent is to fraudulently increase the money they make from the various ad network. This is because a publisher who can generate false clicks on an ad will be paid more money by the search engine.
While it may also seem that these search engines may benefit from click fraud because the advertiser is made to pay for those fraudulent clicks, the overall result and impression it has on the firm is bad. In fact, when the advertiser discovers that these clicks are fraudulent, the host firm makes a refund, thereby losing billions in dollars.
Click fraud degrades the quality of an advert network because the value of an advert network lies in its ability to generate a productive click, which results in sales. When the click does not result in sales or inquiry for the advertiser, it reduces the integrity of the ad network.
Furthermore, another type of click fraud that is even more malicious is the competitors click fraud that targets a specific ad of another company. The major aim is to generate false click in other to increase the company's marketing bill and deplete its budget. This implies that competitors click fraud could lead to an end in advertisements for such companies, especially if it is a small business with a limited budget.
How do digital ad firms detect click fraud?
At present, various digital ad firms have numerous ways of detecting click fraud, and it doesn't charge advertisers for clicks it discovers to be a fraud. Most of them make use of a three-step system to check for click fraud. These systems include the following:
- The use of automated fillers that takes a though look at each click and check for signs of fraud using IP address and date patterns.
- Secondly, an analysis is carried out offline to check for other signs of fraud using a computer. They also employ people who take the time to analyze each of these clicks to ensure they are all legitimate.
- Third, when an advertiser suspects a case of click fraud and reports to the advertising agency which investigates the claim. If found to be true, they reimburse the advertising firm for the fraudulent click and end up losing a whole lot of money from their end.
How do you know if you are a victim of click fraud?
Sometimes, discovering that you are a victim of click fraud is quite easy. For instance, when your advert bill shoots up from $300 to $5000 per month. This can be quite suspicious, and you will definitely know that something is wrong. At other times, you can employ the services of click fraud detection companies that track all your ad clicks and check for signs of fraudulent activities.
Finally, the sophistication of cyber-attacks makes it difficult to stop click fraud totally. However, there are currently so many AI-enabled cybersecurity firms that make use of advanced anti-click fraud protection for paid ad campaigns. This helps to block invalid clicks across platforms and social media channels.