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Avoiding Pay Per Click Fraud
Michalis 'BIG Mike' Kotzakolios

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Pay per click fraud is a big problem within the pay per click search engines. It can cost advertisers a lot of money and possibly placements in listings. But it's not all bad news if you know how to recognize it and what to do about it.

So, what is pay per click fraud? Unscrupulous competitors repeatedly click on your ads in order to drive up the cost of bidding on keywords, eating up your advertising budget and possibly pricing you out of listing the same keywords. Or, in the case of affiliate advertising, it can be a attempt by the fraudster to set up fake websites to display ads they can make money from.

How is pay per click fraud avoided? Unfortunately, avoiding it entirely might not be possible if you are in a competitive market. You can recognize it by following your ad campaigns and looking for unusual patterns of clicks – it might be that a larger than normal amount of clicks are made in a short space of time. On closer inspection they come from the same IP address, which can be discovered through your server logs or through some campaign management reporting tools. You may also notice that a keyword which normally doesn't get many clicks suddenly has a burst of interest over a very short period of time.

What can I do if I suspect pay per click fraud? Firstly, report it to the search engine managing your campaign. You might be able to get back money you have spent on the clicks which were not legitimate if you can show good reason to believe you've been the victim of pay per click fraud. If you have access to the IP addresses involved, look them up with a WHOIS type search to find out who owns the domain and therefore hopefully their contact details. Threaten them with a “cease and desist” and hopefully they will then leave you alone. If not, report them. Some programs which help protect a against pay per click fraud will give you the information needed to track these people.

Enter “pay per click fraud” into any search engine to find a number of programs which can help detect click fraud. Even if it costs a little to start with, it may save a lot more in the long run.

BIG Mike is a well known author, developer and Adsense expert as well as the owner of Niche Maniacs - a unique Adsense Marketing System designed to build long-term passive income streams from Adsense, YPN, Chitika and other PPC services.

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