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Why did clicks and impressions spike about tenfold or more back in February of 2016?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Why did clicks and impressions spike about tenfold or more back in February of 2016 (specifically Feb. 13th onward)?

Our ads themselves were not changed or turned on or off, and the market is very niche.  We went from about 50 clicks per day to over 1000 clicks per day.  Cost per click went from about $4 per click to about $0.50 per click.

It happened overnight on a Friday to Saturday.  It was sustained for quite some time too.  We pulled back on our budget goals and turned ads off to curb the high and unexpected expenditures.  We only recently were able to afford more advertising and reengaged at the same budget level as before, but now the ad clicks and costs per click are back to where they were before last February 13th.

Also, the spike in clicks occurred in some very, very remote areas and counties that definitely don't have that kind of demand.  How could I find out how legitimate the clicks were?  What third-party agency performs any validation or accountancy on Google's auto-bidding process?

1 Expert replyverified_user

Why did clicks and impressions spike about tenfold or more back in February of 2016?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Without investigating the campaigns and the  account, we can only guess.

The best would be to contact CS - they can access the account and billing.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Why did clicks and impressions spike about tenfold or more back in February of 2016?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

CS?

Also, do you know what third-party agency performs any auditing on their automated bidding or is it all just taken in earnest?

Why did clicks and impressions spike about tenfold or more back in February of 2016?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

CS= customer service;

Each agency has its practices, and tools - can't say what methods they utilize to monitor  performance.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Why did clicks and impressions spike about tenfold or more back in February of 2016?

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# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

So how can we know that the impressions are truly served and clicks real?  How can we know that the bidding is done fairly and essentially the books not cooked?

Why did clicks and impressions spike about tenfold or more back in February of 2016?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Did no one else have any changes to their ad campaigns back in February of 2016?

It seemed like a system change in how the ads were served, like suddenly more partner website ad servings, or markets redefined by a new algorithm, or keyword search term categories redefined by a new categorization.

Why did clicks and impressions spike about tenfold or more back in February of 2016?

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

There was no change in the auction algorithm.

What you experienced is more likely to be attributed to seasonal effects or a change in competition.

What I don't quite understand is how come this "peak" is noticed a year after happening?  Wasn't that reported in a monthly report?

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Why did clicks and impressions spike about tenfold or more back in February of 2016?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
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I just felt like asking the question here today after looking back at all the data again.

To give an example on how big the spike was, ALL of the clicks earned for the prior year (so 2/13/15 to 2/12/16) earned almost the same number of clicks (~9705 clicks) as the ten days starting on February (2/13/16 to 2/22/16) which earned ~9688 clicks.

That seems rather odd to me that out of nowhere 10 days of advertising could earn roughly the same number of clicks as the prior 365 days.  365 days = 10 days and that's just seasonal effects?  Remember this is a niche market, not restaurants or something very broad.  This is specialized pediatric therapy in a market area of about 1-3 million total people that only children with this particular condition would need.  It's not likely a seasonal affect or something that could spike tenfold overnight.

Why did clicks and impressions spike about tenfold or more back in February of 2016?

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

I think that, at this point, a year after,  no one can give an educated explanation except guessing. This is a  sort of behavior  that should have been investigated immediately  after noticed / reported. It could be legitimate  users, in a given location, found interest in the product, or it could be that a competitor or a bot clicked on your ad repeatedly.  Either case, too much time has elapsed for  anyone to look /investigate what was happening at that time in the location business vertical and user behavior.

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