The Ultimate Guide to Using Web Crawlers for Click Fraud Protection
If you are an online advertiser who uses pay-per-click (PPC) ads to grow your business, you may have heard of click fraud. Click fraud is a sneaky practice that can drain your advertising budget, lower your return on investment (ROI), and damage your reputation.
Click fraud happens when fake clicks are generated on your PPC ads, either by malicious competitors, organized criminals, or automated bots. The goal of click fraud is to make you pay for clicks that are not from real customers who are interested in your products or services.
According to CHEQ, a cybersecurity company that specializes in ad fraud prevention, click fraud cost advertisers approximately $35.7 billion in 2022, and affected an estimated 90% of all PPC campaigns. That means 10-20% of your PPC advertising spend is going to fraudsters or non-genuine online traffic.
How can you protect your PPC ads from click fraud? One of the methods that can help you detect and prevent click fraud is using web crawlers.
What are web crawlers?
Web crawlers, also known as spiders, bots, or scrapers, are software programs that systematically browse the internet and collect information from web pages. Web crawlers are used for various purposes, such as indexing websites for search engines, extracting data for research or analysis, or monitoring websites for changes or updates.
Web crawlers can also be used for click fraud protection. By crawling your website and analyzing the behavior and characteristics of your visitors, web crawlers can help you identify fraudulent activity on your website and block it before it harms your PPC ads.
How do web crawlers work for click fraud protection?
Web crawlers can work for click fraud protection by looking for certain indicators or patterns that suggest fraudulent activity. Some of these indicators are:
• High click-through rate (CTR): If your PPC ads have an unusually high CTR, it may indicate that they are being clicked by bots or competitors who want to exhaust your budget.
• Low conversion rate: If your PPC ads have a low conversion rate, it may indicate that the clicks are not coming from genuine customers who are interested in your products or services.
• High bounce rate: If your PPC ads have a high bounce rate, it may indicate that the clicks are not coming from relevant or targeted traffic, but from bots or random visitors who leave your website immediately after clicking.
• Geographical location: If your PPC ads have clicked from areas that are not relevant to your target market, it may indicate that they are being clicked by bots or proxies that mask their actual location.
• IP address: If your PPC ads have clicks from the same IP address or a range of IP addresses that belong to a known botnet or a suspicious network, it may indicate that they are being clicked by automated programs or devices.
• Device type: If your PPC ads have clicked from device types that are not compatible with your website or your target audience, it may indicate that they are being clicked by bots or emulators that mimic different devices.
• User-agent: If your PPC ads have clicks from user agents that are not consistent with the device type or the browser type of your visitors, it may indicate that they are being clicked by bots or spoofers that alter their user agent.
Web crawlers can prevent click fraud by blocking or filtering out fraudulent clicks from your PPC ads. By using web crawlers, you can:
• Monitor your website traffic and analyze the data collected by the web crawlers
• Identify the sources and patterns of fraudulent clicks on your PPC ads
• Create rules or criteria to flag or exclude fraudulent clicks from your PPC campaigns
• Implement solutions to block or limit the fraudulent clicks from reaching your PPC ads, such as blacklisting IP addresses, blocking device types, restricting geographical locations, or using captcha verification
• Optimize your PPC campaigns and improve your ROI by focusing on genuine and quality traffic
What are the benefits of using web crawlers for click fraud protection?
Using web crawlers for click fraud protection can provide you with several benefits, such as:
• Saving money: By detecting and preventing click fraud, you can reduce your advertising costs and avoid wasting money on fake clicks.
• Increasing revenue: By optimizing your PPC campaigns and targeting genuine and quality traffic, you can increase your conversion rate and generate more sales and leads.
• Enhancing security: By blocking or filtering out fraudulent clicks, you can protect your website and your PPC ads from malicious attacks or breaches.
• Improving performance: By monitoring and analyzing your website traffic and your PPC ads performance, you can gain valuable insights and feedback that can help you improve your marketing strategy and tactics.
How to use web crawlers for click fraud protection?
To utilize web crawlers for click fraud protection, you must have a list of URLs to monitor and another list of keywords or bits of code to check for. Keywords can include text that is associated with the possible violations that you’re expecting, such as click fraud, bots, scrapers, proxies, etc.
You also need to have a web crawler software or service that can crawl your website and collect the data you need. There are many web crawler tools and platforms available online, such as PromptCloud, Cloudflare, or CHEQ, that can help you with click fraud protection.
Alternatively, you can also use Google Ads’ own tools and features to detect and prevent click fraud, such as:
• Invalid clicks: Google Ads automatically filters out invalid clicks from your PPC campaigns and does not charge you for them. Invalid clicks are clicks that are not intended by the user, such as accidental clicks, web crawlers, or repeated clicks.
• Click Quality Report: Google Ads provides you with a report that shows you the number of invalid clicks and the sources of those clicks on your PPC campaigns. You can use this report to identify and block the fraudulent sources of clicks on your PPC ads.
• IP Exclusion: Google Ads allows you to exclude certain IP addresses from seeing or clicking on your PPC ads. You can use this feature to block the IP addresses that are associated with click fraud or bot activity on your PPC ads.
Clicksbuster is a click fraud protection software that uses advanced web crawlers and artificial intelligence to detect and prevent click fraud on your PPC ads. Clicksbuster can help you with:
• Fraud identification:Clicksbuster can identify fraudulent clicks on your PPC ads by using web crawlers and machine learning algorithms that analyze various parameters, such as CTR, conversion rate, bounce rate, location, IP address, device type, user agent, and more.
• Bad traffic:Clicksbuster can block or filter out bad traffic from your PPC ads by using web crawlers and real-time data that monitor your website traffic and flag any suspicious or abnormal activity.
• Ad security:Clicksbuster can protect your PPC ads from malicious attacks or breaches by using web crawlers and encryption techniques that secure your website and your PPC ads from hackers or intruders.
• Click blocker:Clicksbuster can prevent fraudulent clicks from reaching your PPC ads by using web crawlers and custom rules that block or limit the fraudulent clicks based on your preferences and criteria.
Clicksbuster is a click fraud prevention software that can help you save money, increase revenue, enhance security, and improve performance. Clicksbuster is easy to use, affordable, and reliable. Clicksbuster is compatible with all major PPC platforms, such as Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, and more.
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.