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Competitors Double Serving and Clicking on Ads

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi, I am advertising in a market where the cpcs are anywhere from $10 - $50. I am getting a lot of invalid clicks from competitors: they flat out taunt me that they do, I see web logs and Google flags about 30% of my clicks as invalid (they miss some).

 

Many of these competitors also have different websites under different names. I would like to make the competitive field more fair so I reported several websites with the proof that it is the same owner for exactly for the same service in the same market but all their sites are still up.

 

Does anyone have advice how to deal with the invalid clicks Google is not catching and how to get Google to enforce their policy? 

 

Thanks in advance.

1 Expert replyverified_user
3 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Accepted Solutions
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Eric (Google Employee)
September 2015

Re: Competitors Double Serving and Clicking on Ads

Badged Google Partner
# 2
Badged Google Partner

If you took screen shots, etc. documented double serving of ads, and made Google aware of it, eventually, one way or the other the issue will get resolved. But, unscrupulous people do unscrupulous things. As soon as they are caught doing one thing, they will inevitably try to find another way to skirt the rules. So, what can you do?

 

1. It's understandable to be frustrated, but try to be patient, keep documenting and reporting violations, and the record will speak for itself.

2. DO NOT under any circumstances use the same black hat tactics as these people! Let them hurt themselves, don't play that game. 

3. As far as the costs are concerned - Do the KW's advertisied that these people are double serving ads for actually generate any revenue for you? Even if an unscrupulous person is clicking on your ads and trying to drive up your costs, are you still making a profit?

 

How many of your competitors actually know whether they are making a profitable return on ad spend or not? How much more or less revenue does their black hat approach make them? What about the customers - If the advertising is dishonest, what are the odds that they are honest with their customers, and retain their business over the long term?

 

As frustrating as the situation is, try to find some way to turn it to your advantage. Be smarter than them, and let them go ahead and lose as much money as they want to. Explore other advertising options than just these KW terms on search networks, have a ROAS formula, and if the current approach is not profitable, keep experimenting until you find something that works for you.

Tom

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Theresa_Zook (Rising Star)
September 2015

Re: Competitors Double Serving and Clicking on Ads

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Hello yael_consulting;


As for reporting invalid clicks that you were not automatically credited for ; try to contact the invalid clicks team using this form.

 

As for violation of the double serving policy: in evaluating double serving policy Google checks how close are the advertised businesses, what audiences are targeted, do the website reflect different products?, different brands etc...

 

I think that we are down to the terminology what is a business ? (as Google sees it): If the same keywords on different accounts are used to target two domains that offer the same exact service, it looks like a violation of the double serving policy. (I am quite certain it's just a matter of time until caught by Google and suspended)

 

-Moshe

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’

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Theresa_Zook (Rising Star)
September 2015

Re: Competitors Double Serving and Clicking on Ads

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 4
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆

You mention that you're looking at web logs.  If you are certain your competitors are clicking on your ads, then identify their IP address(es) in the web logs and then block them from seeing your ads, via IP exclusion.  See:

 

http://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=61492

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Eric (Google Employee)
September 2015

Re: Competitors Double Serving and Clicking on Ads

Badged Google Partner
# 2
Badged Google Partner

If you took screen shots, etc. documented double serving of ads, and made Google aware of it, eventually, one way or the other the issue will get resolved. But, unscrupulous people do unscrupulous things. As soon as they are caught doing one thing, they will inevitably try to find another way to skirt the rules. So, what can you do?

 

1. It's understandable to be frustrated, but try to be patient, keep documenting and reporting violations, and the record will speak for itself.

2. DO NOT under any circumstances use the same black hat tactics as these people! Let them hurt themselves, don't play that game. 

3. As far as the costs are concerned - Do the KW's advertisied that these people are double serving ads for actually generate any revenue for you? Even if an unscrupulous person is clicking on your ads and trying to drive up your costs, are you still making a profit?

 

How many of your competitors actually know whether they are making a profitable return on ad spend or not? How much more or less revenue does their black hat approach make them? What about the customers - If the advertising is dishonest, what are the odds that they are honest with their customers, and retain their business over the long term?

 

As frustrating as the situation is, try to find some way to turn it to your advantage. Be smarter than them, and let them go ahead and lose as much money as they want to. Explore other advertising options than just these KW terms on search networks, have a ROAS formula, and if the current approach is not profitable, keep experimenting until you find something that works for you.

Tom

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Theresa_Zook (Rising Star)
September 2015

Re: Competitors Double Serving and Clicking on Ads

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Hello yael_consulting;


As for reporting invalid clicks that you were not automatically credited for ; try to contact the invalid clicks team using this form.

 

As for violation of the double serving policy: in evaluating double serving policy Google checks how close are the advertised businesses, what audiences are targeted, do the website reflect different products?, different brands etc...

 

I think that we are down to the terminology what is a business ? (as Google sees it): If the same keywords on different accounts are used to target two domains that offer the same exact service, it looks like a violation of the double serving policy. (I am quite certain it's just a matter of time until caught by Google and suspended)

 

-Moshe

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’
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Theresa_Zook (Rising Star)
September 2015

Re: Competitors Double Serving and Clicking on Ads

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 4
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆

You mention that you're looking at web logs.  If you are certain your competitors are clicking on your ads, then identify their IP address(es) in the web logs and then block them from seeing your ads, via IP exclusion.  See:

 

http://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=61492

Re: Competitors Double Serving and Clicking on Ads

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I have the same problem with a large competitor.   On any given search related to the products I sell,  4-5 of their ads show up with different websites listed.  The ads lead to the same EXACT products.  It's been going on for years and Google does nothing to stop it.   I suspect it's because the competitor spends millions with Google and less customers equals less customer support employees.  

The long term effects for Google should be obvious.  Once this online behemoth knocks out the competition, they will be bidding against themselves and ad rates will fall for Google.  I read on a blog that Google salespeople may be helping large companies with this practice so it is easier for them to meet quotas. 

Re: Competitors Double Serving and Clicking on Ads

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

And yes I have reported them to Google.

Re: Competitors Double Serving and Clicking on Ads

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor
Hello there;
To have your case reported to Google, and not to be confused with this (old) discussion, can you open a new discussion and upload screenshots to illustrate?
Thanks;
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: Competitors Double Serving and Clicking on Ads

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks for your quick reply. Could you please tell me how to add screenshots. My view does not offer an insert image button.

Thank you.

Re: Competitors Double Serving and Clicking on Ads

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

Please use full reply editor . (A link just below the post button)
And, If you could, open a new discussion for your case - not to get Google confused (with this one) - if the case is escalated.

Thanks;

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: Competitors Double Serving and Clicking on Ads

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks Moshe. I didn't see an option for uploading an image in the full editor but I gave more information and included a link to the screenshot.
Thanks again for the help.