The Growing Problem of Google Ads Fraud and How to Protect Your Business
Online advertising is an essential component of any marketing plan in today’s digital world. Businesses of all sizes rely on digital ads to reach their target audience and drive conversions. However, as the industry continues to grow, so does the problem of ad fraud, including Google Ads fraud.
According to Juniper Research, the business loses over $51 million per day due to ad fraud, and that figure is expected to rise to $100 billion by 2023. The costs related to digital advertising fraud worldwide are expected to grow exponentially within the four years between 2018 and 2023, from 35 billion to 100 billion U.S. dollars.
Ad fraud refers to any attempt to defraud digital advertisers or digital advertising networks for monetary advantage. It can take many forms, from fake clicks and impressions to more sophisticated schemes such as domain spoofing and cookie stuffing. This includes fraud on platforms such as Google Ads, where fraudsters may use Google Ads software to carry out their schemes.
Types of ad fraud:
Malicious Bots: One of the most common types of ad fraud is the use of Malicious Bots. These are automated programs that mimic human behavior to generate fake clicks or impressions. For example, a fraudster might use a botnet (a network of compromised computers) to repeatedly click on an ad, making it appear as though the ad is receiving a high level of engagement.
Hidden Ads: Another common type of ad fraud is Hidden Ads. This involves placing ads in such a way that they are not visible to the user. For example, an ad might be placed behind another element on the page, or it might be displayed in a tiny, one-pixel iframe. In either case, the ad is only seen by the user, but the advertiser is still charged for the impression.
Install Hijacking & Click Injection: This is another type of ad fraud that is becoming increasingly common. This involves using a compromised app that is already installed on a user’s device to detect when a new app is being installed. The fraudster then generates a fake click before the new app is opened, making it appear as though the click came from the user.
Click Flooding: Click Flooding is another type of ad fraud that involves generating large quantities of fake clicks with random device IDs. The hope is that some of these clicks will be attributed to legitimate users who later install the app.
Click Hijacking involves compromising a user’s computer, an ad publisher’s website, or a proxy server to intercept clicks and redirect them to a different destination. This can result in lost revenue for both the advertiser and the publisher.
So, what can be done to prevent ad fraud?
One of the most effective ways to prevent click fraud is to use click fraud protection software. These tools are designed to detect and block fraudulent clicks, ensuring that your advertising budget is spent on genuine visitors.
Another way is to work with reputable and transparent partners, platforms, and tools. Look for ad networks, exchanges, or DSPs that have strict policies and standards for inventory quality, verification, and accreditation. This includes using tools and platforms that help you make Google Ads campaigns that are less susceptible to fraud.
Other steps you can take include staying alert for suspicious IPs, limiting your target audience, knowing your traffic source, keeping an eye on data, and using Ads.txt. An Ads.txt is a simple text file that publishers can use to specify which ad networks are authorized to sell their inventory. By using Ads.txt, you can help prevent domain spoofing and other types of ad fraud.
In conclusion, ad fraud is a growing problem that can have a significant impact on the industry. By taking steps to prevent it such as working with reputable partners and using third-party tools like Clicksbuster, you can help protect your business from this costly issue. Using click fraud protection software and fraud identification tools can help you detect bad traffic and improve your ad security. Using a click blocker and working with scam busters and fraud busters can also help you protect your business from ad fraud. As the industry continues to evolve, it will be important for businesses of all sizes to stay vigilant and take proactive measures to prevent ad fraud.
The Clicks Buster app allows you to eliminate click fraud, easily access all of your Google AdWords data, and make the best data-driven decisions. Simply install it on your smartphone, and you can quickly log in to all of your Ad fraud prevention service data.