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Invalid Click Solution that actually works?

[ Edited ]
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 1
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆

As an agency, we have dealt with different levels of click fraud for different clients with Googles help, but one in particular has proven that the system is simply not up to standard to protect advertisers and we are at a loss. 


We have a client with a competitor that is aggressively clicking ads every single day costing him thousands of pounds and this has been going on for over a year (before he came to us). These people are using mobiles to swap IP addresses, hiding locations using apps and other tactics to try and cheat the system.


Googles system does a terrible job of filtering them, leaving hundreds of clicks in reports for days, even weeks. These would be charged to the client if we weren't chasing up the invalid click team every 60 days. The fact we have to do this every 60 days is a joke because by then he has spent THOUSANDS of pounds on invalid activity. He then has to wait a month or longer to be refunded, often not for the correct amount. So during this process his business is losing money and this happens over and over and over again. Investigations are often lost, confused, or delayed and as I say frankly it's a joke. We don't even have a single person to deal with this issue for us, every time we deal with a new person.


We have even tried third party software which also fail to work well because of the tactics these people are using. 


I have a few questions:


1. Does anyone have a third party option they can recommend for dealing with this issue?


2. When is Google going to do something to stop this from happening. You base your systems for blocking fraud on IP addresses but this isn't enough when it is so easy for a mobile phone user to swap IP addresses and use other apps or devices to cheat the system. 


Our client is about to stop using AdWords all together and frankly, I have nothing left to say as Google has let us down time after time. This simply isn't good enough for a case like this one. This is not occasional click fraud it is every, single, day. As an agency owner how can I defend Google and it's products when the system currently in place for protecting advertisers is letting people down in this way?


The client is even considering taking legal action against Google (we are not involved in that in any way) and by the looks of things if he did decide to do that he would win. There have been similar cases in the past won for exactly the same reason. After all, Google profits from any invalid clicks that are not filtered correctly.


Screenshot 2017-11-10 15.53.54.pngHow can this possibly be missed by such an "advanced" system?


Our client and many other advertisers need a real answer to this issue. Right now the solution simply isn't good enough.

1 Expert replyverified_user

Invalid Click Solution that actually works?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Abbie

I know this was posted last year but did you come up with anything? We've seen something similar recently and it's a massive pain when CPCs are in the €20+ range. 


In fairness to Google, it has to be challenging for them too. Did you come up with a solution in the end? Even with a third party?

Invalid Click Solution that actually works?

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 3
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆

Hi Dave,


Yes it isn't an easy thing for them to deal with but I still feel like they are ignoring the issue and purposely skirting around it when they are asked. As one of the most powerful companies in the world they could be doing much more.


But regardless, we managed to find a reasonably good solution although a certain percentage is still missed it is much better than it was originally.


We are using the tool called Clixtell. We've been using this for 4 - 6 months now. We tried several other tools but this seemed to be the only one that not only worked based on IP addresses (which Google's systems do anyway) but also use the device ID to proactively block any new IP addresses as well. So this has worked better than the other tools we tried.


Re: Invalid Click Solution that actually works?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Thanks for the reply Abbie.

Looks pretty interesting.


How did you find the proxy and VPN blockers? 


I'd be concerned about how the device id is being treated by Google though. Is it the IDFA or the device ID itself? Because if its the latter, I'd be worried about the collection of PII and any conflict with the PII policy in AdWords and GA. Would you also mind sharing the process you need to go through to get a refund on the difference in invalid clicks detected by this tool and AdWords itself?


Appreciate you taking the time to reply to such an old thread.