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Help - Suspected Click Fraud

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

We set up and ran several Adwords test campaigns which seemed to generate excellent results.  Clicks have resulted in about a 20% conversion rate to unpaid subscribers.  Terrific!  And Google Analytics has an excellent interface.  But looking closer, none of the Adwords clicks result in sales while traffic from other venues does. 

 

Here is where it gets really strange.  We sell a service for use in the US only, to a general audience of parents of school age children.  The IPs are US-based.  Check out the registrant names, though:

 

Shravya, Pratham, Smita, Sourish, Kalpakkumar, Naina, Deepak, Adhwita, Padmaja.  The names go on and on like this.  It seems that all Adwords clicks result in Indian/Pakistani registrant names.  Unlike the paying customers and subscribers of other ancestry, these registrants do not respond to email offers.  I tracked down the facebook page of one of the registrants and it was in Hindi.  They churn up the site with clicks like real people, but never buy anything.  In one test campaign, they maxed out the daily budget, preventing paying customers from seeing the site.  If we suspend the Adwords campaigns, the Indian/Pakistani registrations stop.

 

Any ideas on how to deal with this?  We love the Adwords/Analytics combo and would be delighted to put a serious budget behind it if we could get real customers from it. 

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Help - Suspected Click Fraud

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
I´d definitely post a ticket for the AdWords-support.

Re: Help - Suspected Click Fraud

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thank you.  I called Adwords support and the representative was very sweet.  She said that there are a lot of Americans of Indian/Pakistani descent.  I agreed and told her that many of my friends were, but that statistically the Adwords results were quite unlikely, given that we have a service for a general audience and that the ancestral demographics of the United States were broader than those of India and Pakistan, including even quite a few people of European, African, South American or other Asian descent.  No meaningful response.

 

I tried pursuing the online support options that resembled a "ticket for the AdWords-support", but they all led to a disclaimer of liability on the part of Google.

 

(Hey, you have a great site.  If we swing the European vacation this summer, we will try to drop by.)

Re: Help - Suspected Click Fraud

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hello Gray ;

Just to make sure I got you right:

How did you track down the IPs of the names registered?

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Help - Suspected Click Fraud

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

Hi GrayY,

 

This could be far off of reality but I think it's worth exploring....

 

Can you please elaborate a bit on how your campaigns are set up and how you're tracking conversions? 

 

Do your ads send users to a dedicated landing page or an existing page on your site? 

 

I assume a subscription is a form on your site, do you have conversion code installed on the subscribe form confirmation page?

 

I'm also curious to know how you're determining that certain 'subscriptions' are due to AdWords clicks.  Are the AdWords conversion numbers matching up with the form results you're receiving?

 

Also are you tagging users somehow to determine that they have subscribed via AdWords click and then seeing if they are purchasing?

 

I'm only asking these things to determine if you may just be seeing Form SPAM and not click fraud.  The forms could be filled out without any user actually clicking on an ad while the actual clickers of your ads are not filling out the forms.  I've dealt with this many times over and just wanted to see if you may be in a similar situation.

 

Just a possibility but without knowing the details, it's very tough to tell.

 

-Tom

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Re: Help - Suspected Click Fraud

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

MosheTLV wrote:

Hello Gray ;

Just to make sure I got you right:

How did you track down the IPs of the names registered?

 


I used Google Analytics, Deep Analyzer Pro, and Moodle.  I copied the Moodle results for each registered student (we offer test prep services) into Arin and they all checked out as US-based.  But the pattern in the names just goes on and on.  Here is the next set:

Arushi, Reevaa, Vedant,  Rubana, Khushali, Gurpreet, Niki, Hema, Gayahthri, Akshay, Ashwath, Shreyas, and Vijay.

Re: Help - Suspected Click Fraud

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

PPCBossman wrote:

Hi GrayY,

 

This could be far off of reality but I think it's worth exploring....

 

Can you please elaborate a bit on how your campaigns are set up and how you're tracking conversions? 

 

Do your ads send users to a dedicated landing page or an existing page on your site? 

 

I assume a subscription is a form on your site, do you have conversion code installed on the subscribe form confirmation page?

 

I'm also curious to know how you're determining that certain 'subscriptions' are due to AdWords clicks.  Are the AdWords conversion numbers matching up with the form results you're receiving?

 

Also are you tagging users somehow to determine that they have subscribed via AdWords click and then seeing if they are purchasing?

 

I'm only asking these things to determine if you may just be seeing Form SPAM and not click fraud.  The forms could be filled out without any user actually clicking on an ad while the actual clickers of your ads are not filling out the forms.  I've dealt with this many times over and just wanted to see if you may be in a similar situation.

 

Just a possibility but without knowing the details, it's very tough to tell.

 

-Tom


Thanks for looking into this, Tom.

 

Let's see if I can answer all this.  Good questions, all:

 

> Can you please elaborate a bit on how your campaigns are set up and how you're tracking conversions?

 

We use the Google Analytics funnels - great stuff.  The Google tracking code is in the header for every page.  I have also done some brute force flipping of campaigns from enabled to paused and watching the subscriptions.  With Adwords paused, we get an expected demographic mix of European and Asian surnames.  With Adwords rolling, we get Indian/Pakistani registrations.

 

> Do your ads send users to a dedicated landing page or an existing page on your site?

 We have tried two campaigns directed to a specific landing page (Free Sample Test!) and two to the home page.  There is a slight variation in all metrics between the two, but for the most part the results are indistinguishable.

 

> I assume a subscription is a form on your site, do you have conversion code installed on the subscribe form confirmation page?

 

Again, we like the Google Analytics funnel.  I have made a tweak to it in the past couple of days.  There are half a dozen other venues for traffic.  One, in particular, headed 100% for paid subscriptions.

 

> I'm also curious to know how you're determining that certain 'subscriptions' are due to AdWords clicks.  Are the AdWords conversion numbers matching up with the form results you're receiving?

That's a good question.  I will have to dig through the data to give you a more solid answer.  I have to say, though, turning Adwords on and off results in a 1.0 correlation with Indian surname non-paying registrations...

 


 

Re: Help - Suspected Click Fraud

Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
# 8
Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆

Hi GrayY,

 

Could you confirm what your Advanced Location options are? If you have selected that option as 'People in, searching for, or viewing pages about your targeted location (default)', then any user who puts in the name of a place in the US will be able to view your ad. The option that you should pick is 'People in your targeted location'. This will allow you to target only users with a US IP address irrespective of the search query they insert into Google.

 

Heta
- Paid Search Marketing | www.convonix.com
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author GrayY
September 2015

Re: Help - Suspected Click Fraud

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Wow.  That is a subtle distinction.  And you were right about the setting.  I have switched the setting as you suggested and will now enable our test campaigns.  I will let you know if it works.

 

Thanks!

 


heta_convonix wrote:

Hi GrayY,

 

Could you confirm what your Advanced Location options are? If you have selected that option as 'People in, searching for, or viewing pages about your targeted location (default)', then any user who puts in the name of a place in the US will be able to view your ad. The option that you should pick is 'People in your targeted location'. This will allow you to target only users with a US IP address irrespective of the search query they insert into Google.

 


 

Re: Help - Suspected Click Fraud

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hey GrayY ,
I might have a better solution for you click fraud concerns.

 

<This thread was editted by the Community Manager as per the Community Posting Guidelines:Avoid self-promotion>.


Thanks!