i use google adwords on one of my property sites and some of my other sites that i run. it has been getting more and more expensive to bid for the keywords that i want a year ago it would have cost Â£.50 for the keywords “sell my house quickly”, whereas now it costs around Â£4.00. thats for one click, ouch!
poor performing adverts
i’ve been a bit disappointed with the results this month as even though the budget of Â£40 per day is being used up we do not seem to be getting any conversions. conversions for my sites would mean people are submitting their details. so we still get about 6-10 clicks a day which drains the budget, but no conversions. this IS quite strange as normally the ratio is about 3 clicks to one conversion.
one malicious IP address
i downloaded this months log files for my site just to see if it would show me what what happening. after looking through the logs for a few minutes it became apparent that alot of the visits were coming from one IP address. so i double checked how they were reaching my site and each visit was the same. they came via google with the same search string each time, sometimes up to 5 times a day.
its not difficult to realise that “sponsored listings” cost money. so why unless they were malicious why would someone go to google type in the same search string and then click on your advert to access your site 5 times a day, everyday of the week? hell if you really liked the site you would bookmark it or even make it your homepage on Internet Explorer.
people don’t realise that the internet is not THAT anonymous and that most of your actions can be traced. i am first and foremost an IT geek so this is no mean feat for me. i must have some pretty malicious and unscrupulous competition in the property world to have some one go as far as to devote time everyday to use up my marketing budget. this is not the route any honorable business person would take.
google responds to adwords click fraud
i emailed google giving them details of what had happened and asked for a refund of the credits used as this is definitely fraud. I didn’t even know that they would allow this sort of thing to happen. this is there long and detailed (most of it is cut and pasted) response.
Thank you for your email. I understand you are concerned that you have received multiple clicks from the same IP address and as a consequence have excluded this IP address as these clicks have been using up a lot of your budget. I understand you would like compensation for these clicks.
Each click on an AdWords ad is examined by our system. Google looks at numerous data points for each click, including the IP address, the time of the click, any duplicate clicks and various other click patterns. Our system then analyses these factors to isolate and filter out invalid clicks that fit a pattern of use intended to artificially drive up an advertiser’s clicks or impressions or a publisher’s earnings. It is not in Google’s interest to allow invalid clicks in order to generate revenue since this would not accord with the interests of our advertisers.
are you sure its not in your interest? you still get paid for it don’t you?
If you notice click activity that does not fit your usual patterns, please keep the following factors in mind:
– Return visits: Individual users may legitimately click on your ad more than once when comparison shopping or returning to your site for more information.
yes i often visit sites, forget the name of them so have to search the same keywords to get search results. but after doing this a couple of times i’ll either remember the URL or save it to favourites. My site was visited through my adwords ppc by the same IP 36 times in 18 days, they just clicked and left, thats got to be foul play.
– Shared IPs: Multiple clicks from a single source may be due to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigning identical IP addresses to multiple users. Certain ISPs, such as AOL, distribute a relatively small number of shared, rotating IP addresses to a large number of users. As a result, multiple visitors may access your site from identical IP addresses, giving the impression of repeated clicks from a single visitor.
hardly ANY ISP’s still do this, but i’ve confirmed this with the ISP that owns the IP that they DO NOT share IP addresses
– Web server logs: Your site’s web server logs include data for all visitors to your site, not just those who arrived after clicking on an AdWords ad. You may also see ‘Google.co.uk’ referrers from users who reached your site via the Google search results. Please be assured that your account would only be charged for clicks that your ads received.
yes but the IP log data tallys up with the dates the adwords adverts were clicked.
No direct logging of IP’s in google analytics
is this the reason why google analytics does not directly log IP addresses, so that this kind of fraud normally goes undetected and google carries on making revenue on these clicks?
maybe the amount of business generated from adwords click fraud is too great to lose.