Want to minimize your losses to Adwords click fraud? Read this:
Looks like Google click fraud continues to rise according to Click Fraud Network:
The latest Click Fraud Index from Click Forensics, which is out today, states that the fraudulent click rate is on the rise.
Key findings from data reported for Q2 2007 include:
- The overall industry average click fraud rate was 15.8 percent for Q2 2007. This is an increase from 14.1 percent for the same quarter in 2006 and 14.8 percent for Q1 2007.
- The average click fraud rate of PPC advertisements appearing on search engine content networks, including Google AdSense and the Yahoo Publisher Network, was 25.6 percent. That’s up from 21.9 percent for Q1 2007 and 19.2 percent for Q4 of 2006.
- Traffic from botnets doubled from Q1 to Q2 2007 and contributed significantly to the increase in click fraud rates.
- In Q2 2007, the greatest percentage of click fraud originating from countries outside North America came from France (5.1 percent), China (3.2 percent) and Australia (3 percent).
The best and easiest way to protect yourself against click fraud, if you're an Adwords advertiser, is to not allow your ads to be distributed through the Google content network. Go into your admin panel and turn that feature off. Your chances of being victimized by click fraudsters is greatest when your Adwords ads appear as Adsense ads on other people's websites--for obvious reasons.
I'm one of the earliest Adwords adopters having joined in 2002. Adwords work best for the advertiser when they appear alongside actual search results. This is why I only allow my ads to appear on the Google site for people actively seeking information on a specific product. (I have experimented with content network distribution a few times and its failed the test every time.)
I recall when Google first introduced content distribution for Adwords a few years ago. Advertisers didn't get any warning from Google that their ads would automatically be appearing on hundreds of sites as well as in emails. When I logged in two days after this feature was introduced, I was shocked to discover that my daily average expenditures had tripled. What's worse is that these additional clicks via the content network were junk as they didn't result in sales. I immediately turned the feature off and complained to Google about content distribution being made the default setting for everyone. They responded with their usual shrug of disinterest.
Don't waste your advertising dollars on Google content network unless you are one of the few advertisers for whom it makes sense.