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Google Display Network - Spam

iad
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
iad
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I've being experiencing issues with our text ads running on the Google Display Network. February and March have brought in numerous "junk" emails to our lead generation forms and I'm wondering if anyone else is having the same results. If so, what have you done to prevent bad conversions? Thanks.

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Google Display Network - Spam

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi iad,

 

Can you tie these SPAM submissions to clicks on your ads?  The landing page is accessible by anyone who has the URL including bots that scan the web looking for forms to attack.

 

You could be a victim of general form spam and in this situation, the submissions could have no connection to your Adwords Ads other than the fact that your landing page forms are the ones being submitted. 

 

I've run across this before and through IP blocking and by incorporating SPAM deterrent features (captcha etc) on the forms, I'm generally able to minimize and/or eliminate the false submissions.  Its a pain and a hindrance to actual users as well, which makes the plan of action to combat these submissions a difficult one to make.

 

My 2 cents.

 

Hope this helps!

 

-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: Google Display Network - Spam

iad
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
iad
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Tom,

 

Thanks for your reply.

 

Yes, I've been able to tie the spam back to the PPC ads that come through our lead gen forms. The other thing that is odd is that the pages that the spam has come through are from our dedicated PPC landing pages. It might just be from bots that are looking for forms to attack as you indicated but I thought it was odd.

 

I'm leary about using Captcha as it could cause lower conversion rates on our site. Do you know of any other spam deterrent features that might work?

 

Thanks again.

 

 

Re: Google Display Network - Spam

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi iad,

 

So are you getting click spam as well as the bogus form submission then?

 

I'm trying to see if the Ads your running are actually clicked and then the forms are filled out or if you have bots accessing you PPC forms directly.

 

As well, I too shy away from Captcha on any PPC forms.  It's very frustrating to deal with.  My guess is that these bots identify forms that are easy pickings and have at it. 

 

Depending on how you're processing leads, IP blocking is the only other method I've found that works but its more of a reactionary situation instead of a precautionary measure.

 

-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: Google Display Network - Spam

iad
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
iad
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Tom,

 

Yes, we are getting click spam as well as bogus form submissions. Someone clicks on our PPC landing page which attributes to AdWords conversions and then they fill out our lead gen form. This has been frustrating to both our salespeople and myself. Google has acknowledged these invalid clicks and has refunded us accordingly. I'm just trying to figure out how to make it stop.

 

Thanks.

 

Marie

 

Re: Google Display Network - Spam

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Hi Marie,

 

I would try to confirm whether the form spam is AdWords source or not first. You can do this with Javascript pretty easily if the landing page and the conversion page is all on the same domain. It sounds like both are the same page from your description.

 

The first thing to do is add a hidden field to your form, lets call it "source", with a default value of 0. When the user lands on your page, look for the gclid value in the query string (document.location.search.indexOf('gclid')>=0). If you find it, set the hidden field, source, to 1. Then save the indicator with the form info. You should be able to determine fairly quickly if these are AdWords clicks or not.

 

If you want this form to be filled out only by visitors who click on your AdWords ad, you could have the script disable the submit button or even hid the form altogether. If the form spam is coming form some sort of bot, that should put an end to it. If the form spam is coming from AdWords clicks, it's very likely there is a human on the other end anyway. Since the ads are produced by a script and most bots do not execute the Javascript, it's not likely a bot would be clicking on your ad.

 

When I get form submissions that will likely attract form spam, I run some filter on the server side to try to determine whether it was a valid request. For me, it's pretty simple. If there are any website addresses in the submission, I will generally throw them out. But it can get complicated in a hurry. You can get an idea of what should be rejected by looking at what you are getting.

 

And always watch which sites on the DN are sending you big amounts of traffic with no conversions. Exclude those sites either at the campaign or ad group level.

 

Best of Luck!

 

Pete

 

petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords

Re: Google Display Network - Spam

iad
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
iad
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks Tom and Pete for your replies.

Re: Google Display Network - Spam

[ Edited ]
iad
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
iad
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

It's been about a week and my account is back to getting spam from various placements on the Google Display Network. I think it's time to add CAPTCHA to the forms to prevent this from happening. I've been informed that not much can be done to stop spammers on the network unless other advertisers complain about the same site. Hoping this stops soon as it's a lengthly process to document all of this information and forward to Google.

Placement Management

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

Hi Marie,

 

Have you looked into your placement reports for suspicious placements that you may be able to exclude?

 

As Pete noted above "And always watch which sites on the DN are sending you big amounts of traffic with no conversions. Exclude those sites either at the campaign or ad group level."

 

An integral part of successful Display Campaigns is managing your placements.

 

Just another thought for you.

 

Hope this helps!

 

-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.’

Placement Management

iad
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 10
iad
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Tom,

 

Yes, I've looked at the placement reports to exclude the "bad" ones. When I look at the report, I can narrow down the conversions that have come through our website as "junk". (By "junk" I mean all of the lead forms that were filled out contain invalid phone and email addresses and they have a certain pattern to what they fill out on our forms.) Back to the placement report... The odd thing is that instead of sending large amounts of traffic to our site they are sending very little and the CTR is extremely high.

 

For example, we have 8 conversions coming from one site with 4 clicks, 9 impressions, and a CTR of 44.44% and a conversion rate of 266.67%.