How You Can Save Your Client’s Ad Money from Fraud Clicks

Click fraud can drain your clients' advertising budget fast. This blog unveils strategies to monitor campaigns, set up IP exclusions, utilize geotargeting, and invest in click fraud prevention software. Stay ahead of fraudsters and maximize ROI.
Online advertising is a game-changer for businesses looking to attract potential customers. However, click fraud is an increasingly prevalent concern that can lead to wasted advertising budgets.
Click fraud is an alarming issue in the digital advertising landscape, posing serious threats to both advertisers and marketers.

According to a report by Cheq, global losses to click fraud reached a staggering $35 billion in 2020.
This alarming figure showcases the extent of the problem and the urgent need for businesses to recognize and address this fraudulent activity.

Whether perpetrated by competitors aiming to drain budgets, website owners looking to generate false income, or bots executing large-scale fraud, the consequences can be financially devastating.
In this blog, we’ll delve into the nature of click fraud, uncover its various forms, and explore strategies to safeguard your campaigns from becoming the next victim.

Understanding Click Fraud

Click fraud is a pervasive and malicious practice in digital advertising. It’s characterized by the act of repeatedly clicking on a pay-per-click (PPC) advertisement with the sole intent of depleting the advertiser’s budget or generating false revenue.
There are two primary sources of click fraud:

1. Manual Click Fraud

This form of fraud is carried out by individuals who click on ads with a specific motive. Here’s what it entails:
  • Competitors: Some businesses engage in this practice to exhaust the advertising budgets of their rivals, causing their ads to be removed and thereby decreasing competition.
  • Website Owners: Some website owners hosting pay-per-click ads may click on these ads to generate false income.

2. Automated Click Fraud

More sophisticated and difficult to trace, automated click fraud is typically carried out using bots or automated clicking software.
Automatic click fraud can be further specified with the following subcategories:
  • Bot Traffic: Bots create fake impressions on targeted sites, earning money for non-existing impressions, cleverly disguised with unique IPs.
  • Click Flooding: This involves bots producing massive clicks on an ad to derail analytics, often used to damage competitors’ reputations.
  • Cookie Stuffing: A scheme in affiliate marketing where fake cookies are gathered from website elements to bloat results.
  • Toolbar Injection: Users unknowingly install malware manipulating page codes to divert clicks to different advertisers.
  • Install Hijacking/Click Injection: Fraud apps sneakily take over tracking codes to falsely attribute app installations.
  • Device ID Resetting: Used on device farms to repeatedly download apps and click on ads, resetting devices and changing IPs to appear legitimate.

Why Should You Care?

  • Drains Budget: Click fraud can exhaust your advertising budget quickly without delivering real results.
  • Skewed Data: It can distort your ad campaign’s analytics, making it hard to measure success.
  • Financial Loss: Click fraud directly impacts the financial health of an advertising campaign, draining budgets without delivering genuine customer engagement.
  • Distorted Analytics: By generating false clicks, click fraud skews the analytics of a campaign, making it hard to assess its real success and adjust strategies.
  • Reputation Damage: If you’re a publisher hosting fraudulent clicks, it can damage your reputation with advertising networks, leading to potential bans or penalties.

Strategies to Prevent Click Fraud


1. Monitor Your Campaigns

Constantly monitoring your ad campaigns is crucial for the early detection of any suspicious click activity.
Use Tools: Platforms like ClickCease or Google Ads’ built-in fraud detection mechanisms can be instrumental in tracking unusual click patterns. Example: Imagine you are advertising for a dental clinic in New York City. If you suddenly notice a spike in clicks from a location far outside your service area, such as a foreign country, with no corresponding increase in appointments or inquiries, it may signal fraudulent activity. Recognizing this pattern early allows you to investigate and take action before your budget is significantly drained, ensuring that your advertising efforts remain focused on attracting local patients who are genuinely interested in your dental services.

2. Set Up IP Exclusions

Blocking specific IP addresses that repeatedly click on your ads can be an effective way to thwart click fraud.
How-To: Tools like Google Ads allow you to pinpoint and exclude specific IP addresses that display suspicious behavior. Example: Suppose you run a small online clothing store and detect that an IP has clicked on your ad 50 times in an hour without any conversion. By excluding this IP, you prevent further wastage of your advertising budget on non-genuine clicks. Need help with spammy domains. Add These Spammy Domains As Exclusions To Your PPC Campaigns

3. Utilize Geotargeting

By focusing your ads on specific geographical locations; you can minimize the exposure to potential fraud.
Example: If you’re advertising a plumbing service in Chicago, target only the areas within and around the city where your potential customers reside. This ensures that your ads are not displayed to unrelated regions where they may be clicked fraudulently.


Click fraud is a growing problem in the world of online advertising, but it’s not an unbeatable one. With vigilance, the right tools, and the knowledge to employ them effectively, you can save your clients significant money and ensure that their advertising budget is spent on reaching genuine potential customers. Remember, it’s not just about the tools and strategies, but also about staying informed and proactive in protecting your clients’ interests.

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