Saturday, July 27, 2019

Click Fraud Case Study | Make Your Clicks Count

Click Fraud Case Study | Make Your Clicks Count
TV.TV’s mission is to help preserve the integrity of the PPC Industry. This site aims to educate advertisers on the risks of click fraud and provide industry leading technology and service to online advertisers. Once you realize how prevalent click fraud is in the industry, and how likely you are to have experienced click fraud yourself you will most likely seek to perform the audit.
Why You Should Seek Expert Help:
In our opinion, if you truly understand technology, you understand that this problem can never be fully stopped. The reason is, the pros can put together sophisticated software programs that simulate human behavior, good enough that software programs can’t detect it. It will be a cat and mouse game, just like SPAM. In order to combat SPAM, would you have your technology group develop their own filters, or would you use an established filter.
Once You Find Click Fraud
If you suspect you’ve been the victim of click fraud, you should contact your Google representative, advises JimGuide Patrcik Hartman, a search engine optimization expert. Click fraud victims should report the fraud immediately in order to get refunds, experts suggest, although there have been mixed views on how well Google cooperates with its click fraud victims. Some people rave about how quickly their problems were resolved, although there have been complaints that it takes continued effort to obtain refund checks from Google. “If you don’t have a rep,” he says, “try calling back their customer service number and demand to speak with someone that is in more of a management position than the tier1 person that you will initially talk to.”
Click Fraud is Rampant in the Industry
Do you think Click Fraud is rampant in the industry? Consider this:
We’ve gathered information from clients, industry experts, search engines, and advertisers. Make up your own mind.
1. Google admitted in filings of its recent IPO, “We are exposed to the risk of fraudulent clicks on our ads. We have regularly paid refunds related to fraudulent clicks and expect to do so in the future. If we are unable to stop this fraudulent activity, these refunds may increase. If we find new evidence of past fraudulent clicks, we may have to issue refunds retroactively of amounts previously paid to our Google Network members”
2. You’ve probably already read the India Times Article, “A growing number of housewives, college graduates, and even working professionals across metropolitan cities are rushing to click paid Internet ads to make $100 to $200 (up to Rs 9,000) per month,”
3. In the same article, clickers say they get paid $7 for every $50 earned through clicks.
4. There are accounts of the same type of activity in several other countries, not just India.
5. All PPCs have found fraud and given advertisers refunds.
6. Countless advertisers complain about the PPCs not returning phone calls, being severely backlogged on fraud claims, not returning emails, (These are months in a lot of cases that they wait with absolutely no response)
7. When click fraud happens, PPCs get half of the revenue.
8. Millions of dollars, government interaction, and a collective consciousness that “HATES” spam can’t stop it. The pros still get in.
9. Lots of dollars have been spent by search engines to avoid search engine spam, The pros still get it.
10. Countless advertisers report spikes in traffic from 50 clicks a day to 3000 a day until their funds are depleted. Other cases are not so obvious.
In our opinion, if you truly understand technology, you understand that this problem can never be fully stopped. The reason is, the pros can put together sophisticated software programs that simulate human behavior, good enough that software programs can’t detect it. The better we get at identifying and preventing it, the better they’ll get at doing it. It will be a cat and mouse game, just like SPAM.

Detect Click Fraud news

What should you do about click fraud? Are the measures you are currently taking assuring that you are not a victim of click fraud? Should we trust the PPCs to be the only buffer against click fraud?
The fact is that PPCs have to perform a somewhat adequate job of combating fraudulent clicks. If they didn’t, then word would get out and they would be in turmoil.
By the same token, PPCs have a vested interest in DOWNPLAYING the problem. Think about it, if word got out that click fraud was an extreme problem, this would cause a series of events that would result in PPCs losing a lot of money. Advertisers would become gun shy, and the bidding wars would slow down, driving down advertiser expenditures.
So, the PPCs have a vested interest in downplaying the problem. No one is saying they are criminals, or doing it maliciously.
The point is that advertisers should NOT leave the only detecting of fraudulent clicks to the PPCs. Even if none of them are dishonest, you are still allowing them to be the only ones to put measures in place to stop people from making them more money.
Allowing the PPCs to be the only measure to keep track of fraud is the equivalent of saying to your credit card company, “Go ahead and bill me, but don’t worry about sending me a statement. I trust you.” Who would do that? Well, in this case, many people are doing that.
The People Doing It
There are 2 groups of people that comprise the majority of people you need to worry about.
1. Competitors
2. PPC Content Partners
How They’re Doing It:
1. People in foreign countries clicking on your ads.
2. Spiders, Crawlers, Bots, Trojans
The People Doing It
Let say you are bidding against someone for the term – insurance. Competitors have been known to use several methods of driving up the bid costs, so their competitors will be forced to lower their bids. The malicious company can either keep their same bid and have the number 1 ranking or lower their bid and still have the number one ranking. Click here to find out how they’re doing it.

PPC Content Partners
These content partners receive usually 50% of what the advertiser pays on every click. The PPC Engine receives the other 50%. It is EXTREMELY lucrative for these content partners (Remember it’s on pace to be a $3 BILLION industry in 2004.) Some of these content partners give in to the temptation to make easy and malicious millions by hiring people in other countries to click on ads orcreate sophisticated software programs to click on company ads.
How They’re Doing It
People in Foreign Countries Clicking on Ads
There are accounts of people in foreign countries randomly clicking on websites and generating income for themselves by doing so. An India Times Article states, “A growing number of housewives, college graduates, and even working professionals across metropolitan cities are rushing to click paid Internet ads to make $100 to $200 (up to Rs 9,000) per month.” In the same article, clickers say they get paid $7 for every $50 earned through clicks.
Anonymous Proxy Servers
People use regular or anonymous proxy servers because several users use 1 IP. For example, several people can visit your website from AOL under 1 IP, so its hard to detect. However, patterns can be found that these fraudsters use frequently. Also, we have a list of anonymous proxy servers that you want to stay away from. There is no reason why anyone would use an anonymous proxy server unless their up to something fishy.
Spiders, Crawlers, Bots, Trojans
Some fraudsters write software applications that will use automated clicking methods to click on PPC listings. These applications are getting more sophisticated as companies are working to identify them. These applications are getting closer and closer to simulating human behavior, which makes them harder to detect. This is why you need an expert.
Also, Trojans are sometimes uploaded on shareware sites. When they are downloaded they stay on a person’s computer and randomly click away. Here again, would you take your own preventive measures to fight shareware, or would you use an established software

Prevent Click Fraud last news

Historical Records Auditing
Don’t leave money on the table! Chances are that until now your company has been paying for at least some false or fraudulent clicks. The evidence of these improperly billed transactions is hidden deep within your server log files. Basic analysis and data manipulation may find a patch work of data to support this but to present a comprehensive set of evidence to support a full refund, your company will need the full support of a historical records auditing engagement team.
It is important for you to analyze all available evidence of false or fraudulent clicks using a unique process that combines both analytical and substantive analysis with heavy use of both technology and human supervision. The steps to our process include the following:
Click Fraud Prevention Planning
During the planning stage certain information should be gathered such as technology identification, historical PPC expenditures by company, confidentiality agreements and the communication of expectations concerning the engagement.
Secure Sourcing or On-site Access of Server Log Files and Other Evidence
Take precautions to protect the privacy and integrity of your log file data. Steps include the use of a secured server, contractual agreements requiring confidentiality and the use of encryption technology when applicable. Keep your IT department fully informed of the methodology used to protect your data and always have a contact with which to discuss any issues.

Data Compilations and Analysis
Use secure servers to compare your records to industry trends using updated algorithms to identify a set of data that could indicate abuse. Have this set of date analyzed by experts to determine if a PPC company refund is appropriate.
Client Validation and Reporting
Compile a user-friendly report documenting the results for management. Discuss the findings with key personnel of your company to ascertain the completeness and accuracy of the evidence.
Refund Process Assistance
Your company can choose to administer the refund process in-house or have a 3rd party act as your agent.

Click Fraud FAQ news

How bad is the click fraud problem?
We’ve found that click fraud ranges from 10% to 80%. On average we’ve found 18% of clicks are fraudulent.
Why should I be concerned about click fraud?
The way we look at it, preventing click fraud should be part of your overall marketing and business plan. If you can improve your bottom line by improving your ad copy, you should do it. If you can improve your bottom line with better headlines, do it. And if you can improve your bottom line by eliminating click fraud, then you should absolutely do that as well. It’s all part of the multitude of things you need to do to maximize profits. Click fraud is not just part of doing business online; click fraud is actively eating into the profits you could be using to expand your business, hire new employees, or run additional marketing campaigns. Even if you are only losing $100 dollars a day, that money could be much better spent building your business, rather than needlessly fattening some PPC provider’s or click-fraudster’s pocket book.
Another reason to actively manage click fraud is that fraudulent traffic costs an advertiser both position and volume in the paid listings. Many advertisers have not yet woken up to the fact that click fraud may be costing them several positions in the rankings for their best keywords. These advertisers have already moved up as high in the PPC rankings as their margins will allow, and are actively seeking ways to increase their volume of traffic from the search engines. By identifying fraudulent clicks and stopping them, and then obtaining a refund from the PPC providers, advertisers can cut their PPC costs, grow their margins, and possibly afford to move up in the rankings to find the increased volume of traffic they want.
How much will this click fraud audit cost me?
Nothing, we will perform an audit at no charge. If we detect no fraud, it will cost you ZERO dollars. We only make money if we are to detect fraud and are able to recover marketing dollars for you.
How can your business survive if you just take clients on a contingency basis?
We believe in what we do and are good at what we do. We don’t charge you simply to do an analysis on your log files. We don’t charge you by the hour. Our services are FREE to you unless we are able to detect click fraud and are able to recover money for you. There is no risk on your part.

Who is performing the click fraud?
Click fraud typically occurs for two reasons:
1. Competitors sometimes attempt to deplete one another’s advertising budgets thereby making it more difficult to compete. In such cases, the fraudster is not directly making money from their fraudulent activity but they are affecting a company’s ability to be competitive by reducing their bottom line profits.
In cases where they render a company’s PPC efforts ineffective, they may succeed in eliminating that competition. After all, if they can get a competitor to abandon their PPC efforts for lack of ROI, they can reduce or even remove the bid-competition for keywords and thus lower their own overall cost of advertising once they’ve cleared the playing field.
2. The second type of click fraud is performed by PPC affiliates. These are sites that act as distribution partners for the PPC companies listings. Such fraudsters attempt to inflate their commissions by artificially increasing the number of clicks on the ads displayed by their PPC affiliate site(s).
Both the PPC provider and the affiliate’s revenues are fattened whenever such fraud occurs. The potential lack of incentive to identify and prosecute the offenders is glaringly apparent.
Why don’t I hear more about click fraud?
Think about it. If click fraud got out, the PPC companies would lose a lot of money. They are very tight lipped about answering any questions about click fraud, including what measures they are taking to prevent it.
From our experience, they are usually not very cooperative when we have asked for detailed information about the clicks. In our opinion, it’s similar to you asking you long distance company an itemized summary of your long distance bill and the telephone company refusing

Click Fraud Case Study 2019 is a Dallas based internet company that is a heavy user of PPC advertising on a wide array of both expensive and cheaply priced keywords. The company employees a PPC Campaign Manager and uses a popular bid management tool to maximize their ROI and manage their monthly PPC budget of $20,000 to $50,000.
During the last quarter of 2003 and the first quarter of 2004 the company began to notice a rise in click expenses with no resulting increase in revenue or conversions. The initial rise in click expense was traced back to one of the major PPC companies (one that is publicly traded).
The first logical course of action was for our client to contact the PPC Company and ask for more information. Why was there an increase in clicks with no increase in revenue? Where were the clicks coming from? Was there an increase in popularity of certain keywords or was the PPC company just providing more traffic? Exactly none of these questions were answered to the satisfaction of our client and it was at this point that they knew they needed help.
A log file analysis revealed would make any Marketing Manager sick.
During the month of October 2003 experienced a huge increase in click activity. On average, clicks for all keywords increased by approximately 300% with no increase in revenue and a substantial drop in conversion rates. No matter what changes were made to the bidding strategy, the website landing pages or keyword selection, could not bring the campaign back in line.
After a few months a decision at was made to pull the campaign temporarily but the PPC company continued to send traffic and continued to charge our client. Efforts to communicate with the PPC company’s customer service department or account manager were made in vain.
It soon became clear that was due a refund. Following are a few examples of our findings.
Many of the referring URL’s no longer existed at the time of our analysis
Many of the referring URL’s were owned by the same company
The referring URL’s in question were sending more traffic than any other similar PPC company could substantiate
Some referring URL’s were sending the same visitor repeatedly in a short period of time
Many visitors to the landing pages spent a second or less on the landing page
Many clicks were from anonymous proxy servers and did not contain referring URL information
Some of the referring URL’s were sending foreign traffic which had no chance of converting into a sale
Suspicious click activity was distributed among several of the major PPC companies
Armed with a comprehensive report that detailed the above findings as well as other proprietary information, began the process of securing a refund. Not only was it bad enough that was being charged for something they never received, the PPC Company denied their claims. After repeated attempts to contact the PPC Company, an account manager agreed to look at the documented proof of click fraud that had been compiled. The PPC Company admitted that the traffic was probably fraud and made a small offer for a refund of approximately $13,000.
Insulted by the small offer, made numerous attempts to contact the PPC company and was offered the following response from an account manager:
“The offer I communicated to you was our FINAL offer and is NOT up for negotiation. We have a binding contract that you signed which intends to enforce. If you wish to cancel your campaign, I expect a 30 day notice, as provided in our agreement.” After negotiations took place the customer was able to recover approximately $180,000 from the PPC company. This represented 95% of the detected or suspected click fraud.

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