(…and the answer is almost certainly not zero!) From dishonest publishers piling ads one on top of another, to robots hijacking personal computers to drive fake clicks, to suspect websites designed purely for serving ads that no real human ever sees, the multitude of click fraud headlines every month is downright scary. The sad truth is, if you are advertising online, you are losing some portion of your budget to fraud. It isn’t a question of if, but how much? And, how do you stop the bleeding? It’s Up to You! There are a number of tried and true methods for eliminating click fraud:

 

  1. IP Exclusions: Identify fraudulent IP addresses and block your ad from being served to those IP’s. For example, if you see multiple clicks coming from the same IP, there is a good chance that IP is fraudulent.
  2. Cut Out 3rd Party Publishers: Social Media outfits like Facebook and Twitter do not allow 3rd party publishers to serve on their platforms. Buying direct from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Amazon can cut out a significant amount of click fraud.
  3. Google Display Network (GDN): Google has done a commendable job weeding out suspect websites and only serves ads to visitors who have visited/shown interest in an advertiser’s website.
  4. Target Your Ads: Chances are, you do not have the time to sort through all IP addresses clicking your ads and can’t afford to only serve on GDN/Facebook/Twitter. The best method for cutting back on click fraud is to narrow your focus and decide exactly who you want to see your ads: identify the right geographies, languages, and user behaviors. With the right targets set, you can not only eliminate bad/fraudulent traffic, but produce high quality traffic – users that click through to your site, stay on your site, submit lead forms, make purchases, etc.

 

Don’t hold your breath waiting for the industryfraud_boc blog to correct itself… There is just too much money being poured into digital advertising, too many publishers, too many buyers, too few people who really understand the medium, and too many crafty bad actors. Unfortunately, it is not as of yet in the interest of sellers/publishers to self-correct. They are charging per-impression and are happy to have as many as possible; they are serving ads across thousands of websites and themselves cannot verify the credibility of all of them; and, in the tech world, the moment a new verification tool is introduced, a new tool to beat the verification process is already in use (think counterfeit money).

 

To learn more about Ad Targeting and Producing High Quality Traffic, contact BOC Partners for a free consultation!!