ClickCease Blog

How To Do DIY Click Fraud Protection

Click fraud is a major concern for PPC marketers. But there are ways you can do some DIY click fraud blocking.

Whether it be your competitors trying to sabotage your business by draining your advertising budget or bots and click farms. Click fraud has grown into a major problem for anyone running PPC ads.

If you’ve spotted high bounce rates and low conversions on your ad campaigns, or maybe you’ve spotted some unusual traffic on your ads – there are things you can do about it.

Yes, the search engines do their bit to block fake traffic, or IVT (invalid traffic). But even with those fraud filters, here at ClickCease we block on average 15% of all clicks on ads as invalid traffic. Yup – that’s a lot of non-genuine clicks that people are paying for.

If you feel like it’s time to take matters into your own hands, we’ve got your back.

Yes, ClickCease does just so happen to provide the best click fraud prevention solution in the industry. But… If you want to try some manual techniques with a bit of DIY click fraud blocking, well, we can’t blame ya.

So here are our tips to manually block click fraud on your Google Ads*.

*(can also be applied to Bing/Microsoft Ads).

First Things First: Internal Reporting

Information, information, information. The source of all power. Should be your first step in your plan for attack. It’s important to know what you’re up against.

To work out what is going on with your web traffic, you’ll need to collect the following information:

  • IP Addresses
  • Click timestamp
  • Action timestamp
  • User agent

An IP address tells you where your viewer is viewing from. It’s important to check your IPs in order to monitor and track suspicious behavior.

Traffic coming from the same place is a red flag in click fraud detection but it could also just be coming from a public server like a coffee shop or university.

Click timestamps are the arrival on site after click ad. While an action timestamp is when the action is complete on the site. Multiple click timestamps with no action time stamps are huge indicators of click fraud.

A user agent identifies whether a person on said IP is indeed the same

4 DIY Tips for Click Fraud Protection

1. Set Up IP Exclusions in Google Adwords

Assuming you’ve done your homework in order to identify the fraudulent click IP addresses (and this is different from the invalid clicks you may be seeing on your account)  you can now block these specific IP addresses for future references.

1. Start by signing into your Google Adwords account.

2. Next, at the top go to the Campaigns main tab then drop down to and click Settings tab

3. Click the specific campaign you would like to exclude the IP address from

4. Scroll down to where it says Advanced Settings, then click on IP exclusions

5. Click Edit, which can be found next to “Manage IP Exclusions”

6. A box will appear, here you can type in all the IP addresses you would like to exclude. One per line, up to 500 different addresses at one time

7. Click Save

2. Run GDN Remarketing Campaigns

If publisher based fraud is a problem for you then your solution is remarketing. These ads will only be displayed to those who are actually interested in your website which eliminates publishers. Additionally, this will focus on those who have already viewed your site in hopes to retarget.

3. Adjust Your Ad Targeting

Through adjusting your specific geographic regions such as certain zip codes, cities, etc.

Why is this useful? Click farms, often originating from poorer countries that have a relatively lower labor rates. One method to combat competitor fraud is by excluding their specific region.

The downside of this tactic is you may be in turn discouraging genuine traffic to your site. So it’s important to think twice before going exclusion crazy!

4. Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising may be your hail Mary when trying to reduce fraud clicking if these other tactics didn’t do the trick. This DIY tip eliminates third party publishers, which may be the source of some of your grief. It allows you to be specific with advanced targeting options. While making it increasingly more difficult for competitors/threats to reach you here. The downside of social advertising is the lack of user intent. Moving away from search platforms because of someone clicking on your campaigns should be a last resort.

But is it worth it?

All that time and money…

To collect all the information necessary for internal reporting it takes countless man hours. And as we know, time is precious – you probably don’t have much spare.

Another question to ask yourself is does your company have the capabilities to collect this data? If this data is not collected and analyzed properly then the DIY approach may not be possible for you.

Social media ads are indeed a solution but if you are B2B especially, your audience just isn’t there. So these may not be the channels you want to be focusing on.

Setting up IP exclusions in AdWords is an uphill battle, to say the least, it’s an ongoing process that needs constant updating to be effective.

Additional questions to ask yourself:

  • Have you identified all the correct IPs?
  • Are these indeed fraudulent?
  • Are they still relevant?
  • How often do I need to update to make this run efficiently?

Remarketing is a solution but only for publisher based fraud.

Final Thoughts

You have now been given the tools to combat click fraud on your own.

But with great knowledge comes great responsibility.

These DIY click fraud pevention tips will help you block those bad clicks. But, like whack-a-mole, click fraud and ad fraud changes constantly. You’ll still need to pay attention to your traffic every week and update those IP exclusion lists.

It’s a constant job.

That’s why using the industry leading click fraud prevention software from ClickCease is the best solution.

Considering the time, money and effort you spend blocking fake clicks and invalid traffic, ClickCease does it all automatically. No stress, no sweat. Just cleaner PPC traffic.

In fact, most of our clients find that ClickCease pays for itself within one or two days.

Don’t believe us? You can run an audit on your PPC ad traffic with ClickCease for FREE!

Sign up for your free trial and get unbeatable insight into your website visitors and who (or what??) is clicking your ads.

Ilan Missulawin

Ilan is a co-founder and the CMO of ClickCease since 2015.
When he isn't dreaming about click fraud you can find him writing about it.
Two of his favorite things in life are: Peppa Pig and writing about himself in third person.

1 comment

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  • I don’t believe remarketing is any longer a magic bullet to prevent publisher click fraud. All a bot needs to do is visit my site, and then start clicking my ads on their site. I am finding it very difficult to run remarketing campaigns without being swamped with this kind of activity. Has your platform evolved since publishing this post to combat this type of activity?

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