PPC fraud is very serious, and if you’re running extensive PPC campaigns, there’s a very high chance that you’ve been a victim and never realized it. It was estimated that £5.4 billion was lost to click fraud back in 2015, and this number ballooned to £31.88 Billion in 2019. So, not only is it not going away, but it’s getting way worse and attackers are getting more and more sophisticated. Let’s take a look at a few signs that your website is being targeted by PPC fraud.
One thing you should be looking for is unusual spikes in activity on your ads. Spikes alone don’t indicate fraud; however, if they’re not accompanied by a corresponding spike in conversion as well, this is a good indicator. If you haven’t changed anything significant in your campaigns lately, yet you’ve seen this type of activity, then there’s a strong chance that you’re being attacked.
The only solution here would be to use click fraud protection software. Some of the biggest options on the market are ClickGUARD, ClickCease, and PPC Protect. If you want to learn more about those, we suggest you read ClickGUARD’s comparison. It runs down the differences between ClickCease vs PPC Protect. It also pits ClickGUARD against both, so you can see which one offers a better solution for your needs.
High Bounce Rates
Another clear sign that you might be the victim of a malicious attack is if you notice that you have very high bounce rates even though you’re seeing increased activity on your ads. Again, if you haven’t made major changes to your homepage recently, there is no reason for people to suddenly start not liking it.
To spot an unusual bounce rate, you have to monitor it in the first place. If you aren’t using Google’s Search Console, you should start doing so immediately. It will allow you to keep track of your bounce rate over time and not only spot unusual activity, but it will show you where to make adjustments to increase engagement.
You should also make sure that you keep an eye on the impressions of your ads at all times. There is no reason for you to suddenly get more impressions if you haven’t made significant changes to your bids, so this could be another case of click fraud. This one is a bit sneakier, however.
Instead of trying to get you to waste money by clicking on your ads, these scammers are trying to lower your CTR so they can negatively affect your ad’s quality score. This will then result in your ad being pushed further down in the results even if you’re paying more than your competitors.
If you notice any of these signs, it’s likely someone is trying to attack your ads and is either trying to inflate your ad spend or affect the visibility of your ads. If that’s the case, you need to act immediately and use all the tools at your disposal to correct the situation.