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Symptoms of Click Fraud?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi, 

 

I believe that my adwords campaign may be victim to click fraud. We made some changes to our pricing and advertising wording and saw a great increase in sales every day of November. However, in the last week this has dropped off significantly because I believe my ads are being clicked on fraudulently by someone who is not happy with our low pricing. The only information I have to go on is from Analytics, and is as follows:

 

  1. For the past 6 months, sessions on our site that come from our ads have generally received 1+ minute session durations with multiple page views. However, increasingly in November, the number of visits from our ads with 0 second session durations and 2 page views has increased, and really grew in the last few days, which coincided with a sharp drop in sales. Some of these sessions with 0 duration have up to 7 page views.
  2. Our daily budget used to run out between 8-10pm each night, which was fine by me since it would renew in just a few hours. Now it runs out much sooner, around 2-3pm, and many of the clicks from our ads show the same browsing characteristics as above. This coincides with a drop in sales.
  3. I do not have IP information. However, just focussing on analytics data in Canada, I can see that these suspicious ad clicks are originating from 4 different provinces, which tells me that someone may be using a proxy to do so. 

I guess my main question here is, does the above data look suspicious to you? I have requested the web log file from my host, Shopify, however they have policy to not provide such data.

 

Any suggestions/things to look for? Anything I am missing? Any particular metrics in Analytics that I should watch out for?

 

Thank you!

B

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Symptoms of Click Fraud?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi There;
Honestly, without the IPs - it would be hard to prove.
Your host provider could provide you with the IP logs.
You could also ask Google to investigate using the Analytics data. But, based on my experience, your case would be much "stronger" if you could show IPs.
Check this article on the topic by Google:
http://www.google.com/ads/adtrafficquality/advertisers/click-investigation-request.html
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: Symptoms of Click Fraud?

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor
First of all, you need motive. In AdWords that means a competitor who also uses AdWords, and probably bids on the same keywords. Nobody else has the motivation to repeatedly click on your ads.

If they aren't using a proxy, then Google will only charge you for, and record, the first two clicks. However Analytics will show all the clicks - so there might be some clues there.

If you can't access IP addresses, then the only way you can stop them is by asking Google support to help. Which is worth a try but I don't know the odds of success.

Re: Symptoms of Click Fraud?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thank you for your response. Do you know of any specific Analytics metrics besides what I mention above that could help in pointing out fraudulent clicks?

Unfortunately, Shopify are the ones who have my site log file, and it's against policy for them to provide it.

Re: Symptoms of Click Fraud?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi, Rob

There is certainly a motive. We (myself and similar companies) bid on very similar/particular keywords. Above all, our prices are substantially more affordable for a better quality product. This is undoubtedly frustrating someone, as I assume their sales must have gone down in order for ours to go up (generally).

I have certainly compared the clicks coming from our ads to those that do not in Analytics. And it's the increase in poor visits (0 seconds duration and few page views) that has me suspicious. For the first 3 weeks of November we had e.g., 35 clicks per day with 1 min+ sessions and 3+ page views, resulting in x sales. In the last week it's been e.g., 35 clicks with x/5 sales...and many of the clicks being 0 second sessions and 2 page views. I highly doubt that such a sudden change is linked to a change in browsing/purchasing habits of quality buyers...it seems more like someone try to sabotage.

Cheers.

Re: Symptoms of Click Fraud?

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

@Ben R;

I see... In this scenario,  send what you have to Google. Submit the form  in the article I linked. Google has the tools to investigate.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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