The Click Fraud Blog | ClickCease
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How Does A Click Fraud Detection Algorithm Work?

First, what happens when there is no click fraud detection algorithm protecting your Google Ads campaigns?

Click fraud is a major problem that costs advertisers up to 20% of their ad spend. Not only is it a big and frustrating problem, but it’s increasing as the world becomes more digital.

Click fraud can be carried out automatically or manually:

    1. Automatic click fraud – The automated route is carried out using bots. These bots are programmed to click ads over and over again. How do you detect click fraud being carried out by a bot? One red flag, for example, is a user that uses a very similar IP address over and over again and has zero engagement with the ad’s website. Another good way to detect if you’re getting hit by automated click fraud is if the cursor movement of the mouse to the button on the ad is a straight line – a perfect line isn’t human.
    2. Manual click fraud – Much more simple to execute. It is carried out by humans, either individuals or masses of people that work in click farms and whose jobs it is to sit and click on ads all day. A good way to detect manual click fraud is if you’re getting more clicks than your normal amount and if the geolocation is unusual or not relevant to your ads.

You can calculate for yourself what 20% of spam clicks may be costing your Google Ads campaigns. Just imagine, competitors, bots, and other non-customers fraudulently clicking on your ads. Once fraudsters realize they can get away with fraudulently clicking your ads, you’ll quickly be left with a drained budget and zero real customers or leads.

Without a click fraud detection algorithm protecting your ads 24/7 and working on your side to fend off the fake clicks, you’re completely vulnerable.

This video shows what type of click fraud is detected by an algorithm:

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Why Detection Without A Click Fraud Detecting Algorithm Just Doesn’t Cut It

Having a detection algorithm protect your campaigns is like having a personal, digital bodyguard. It’s 24/7, protecting when you’re awake and while you’re asleep.

A click fraud detection algorithmically does the following:

  1. Protect across geos – It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with a click farm in India or a hacker in Canada, the algorithm still defends your campaign. If you see you that you’re getting traffic from the wrong geographies, you may want to read this)
  2. Do quick calculations – Computer vs. man…we’ll take computer when it comes to lighting fast data calculations.
  3. Make smart judgments – Deciding what is fraudulent traffic and what is innocent is the result of the detection algorithm. Once the machine has decided that a certain IP is malicious, it will immediately block it within your Google Ads campaign. 

Without one, you would have to do all of the monitoring yourself such as check every single IP address to make sure it’s legitimate, cross reference geos, check devices, and do a ton more research to ensure you’re not getting fraudulent clicks.

A smart algorithm does all that as well as monitors your ads for fraudulent activity such as blacklisted IPs, bad hosts, and proxy servers so you don’t have to. Simply put, there are many more important things to worry about than constantly checking your clicks and ensuring none are fraudulent. Why waste time when you could be growing your business in more beneficial ways?

Does Google Ads protect my campaigns?

As a top search engine wanting your business, Google does have processes in place to help protect your campaigns from click fraud. AdWords’ Ad Traffic Quality Team works to detect and handle potentially invalid clicks.

If an invalid click is detected, they will block the click before they reach your account reports. And if you think AdWords missed fraudulent clicks on your account, you can have them investigate. If they are in fact fraudulent, AdWords will reimburse your account, but only 2-3 weeks after the fraud took place. This means two things:

  1. Your ad budget would be exhausted
  2. Your ad would not be online for hours, days, or more

Additionally, Google’s click fraud criteria are identical for each and every advertiser, so your clicks could be compared to companies whose criteria are completely different, resulting in additional complications. Many advertisers and business owners think that Google’s protection strategies are enough – unfortunately, this is not always the case.

It’s About Your Business

You wouldn’t allow someone to walk out of your store with your inventory. Then why let competitors and fraudsters make off with your advertising dollars?

ClickCease’s Click Fraud Detection Algorithm is built to protect your ads and your budget. It looks at multiple data points and does a real-time calculation to determine if a click is fraudulent or not. If the data points don’t align, it’s a sign that something is suspicious and action must be taken immediately.

Detecting click fraud with the ClickCease Algorithm.

The ClickCease click fraud detection algorithm takes into account dozens of pure indicators for click fraud activity. From IP address to user behavior. Everything is being analyzed. For each click made on your ads, ClickCease assigns a threat level based on the number of fraudulent indicators detected.

A partial list of the data the algo collects:

    • IP address
    • Country of origin of the clicking IP
    • City of origin of the clicking IP
    • User interactions including clicks, scrolls, time on site and mouse movement
    • Number of clicks
    • Whether the IP is blocked or not
    • Clicks frequency
    • Click history
    • Placement
    • Gclid (google Click ID)
    • Device ID
    • Campaign name
    • Ad placement
  • Os & browser

One of the fraud algo’s main functions if to flag suspicious IP addresses, such as ones from regions you don’t usually get clicks from, ones that are using a VPN to mask their location, or ones that have clicked over your set threshold.

If fraud is detected, the algorithm won’t just passively alert you. It will take immediate action by:

    • Initiating its automatic IP-blocking feature that’s incredibly useful for AdWords accounts. It picks up whether the IP is suspicious or not, based on criteria provided, and if so, blocks the ads from that IP address in real-time. This means that the ads are no longer visible to the clicker. By automatically blocking whoever it is that’s doing the clicking, you’re reducing the number of times they’re able to click on your ads, saving you money immediately!
  • The algorithm also adds any fraudulent IPs across all of your campaigns, even if the fraud was detected in only one ad from a completely different campaign (this feature is optional and extremely useful).

The Click Fraud Detection Algorithm monitors your traffic at all times, to give your ads the protection they need!

There are algorithms and solutions out there, but none of them protect your ads as well as ClickCease’s Click Fraud Detection Algorithm, which was created by top minds, industry veterans and creative thinkers.

Yuval Haimov

Yuval is the CEO and founder of ClickCease. He has dedicated his life, thus far, to battling click fraud.

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