BING Click Fraud

It may come as no surprise that BING Ads are susceptible to BING click fraud. In simple terms, click fraud, regardless of the search engine, will undermine PPC campaigns and will appear in all the forms associated with click fraud – be it competitors, bots, VPNs or simply ‘friendly fire’ or accidental clicks.

Bing Ads: The Story So Far

Since its current form was conceived in 2012, Bing Ads was designed to be a competitor to the platform provided by Google – Google Ads (or AdWords as it was formerly known). Bing Ads in comparison to market share and user numbers, is very much the junior to Google Ads senior. Current estimates place Bing Ads market share in the UK at around 20% in 2018.  Whilst the platforms are similar in concept and provide a wide range of targeting, optimisation and reporting options, there are some key differences between them. One of these differences is how Bing Ads tackles the issue of BING click fraud.

Bing Ads: The Click Fraud Comparison

When using Google Ads, you will have a wealth of reporting options available to you which will give you an advantage when identifying click fraud within your campaigns. Another notable option is the ability to integrate your Google Ads campaigns with your Google Analytics account. This provides an added layer of analysis and gives you a greater sense of security, as well as another opportunity to identify click fraud.

Whilst Bing Ads does offer tools to analyse and interpret data, there are distinct differences when compared with Google Ads. One of these is the way BING click fraud is handled within the platform, as well as how Bing Ads support refund requests. In technical terms, Bing Ads has two ways of detecting invalid clicks. One is simply a way of checking a click and removing it if it is deemed ‘bad’ (or fraudulent), the other is checking the click before the client account is billed. On the surface this seems pretty reasonable but it also makes invalid click claims more convoluted than they need to be. Compared with Google Ads, Bing Ads is not as well designed to defend against BING click fraud. Whilst detection does take place, it isn’t as robust as that found on Google Ads – which is also susceptible to click fraud – and it is here where Bing Ads has an issue. Without a more joined-up system of detection, even the most blatant of click fraud cases can take much longer to process and categorise.

Technically Google Ads allow systems to communicate through their API to with the IP exclusion list.  In the battle against click fraud this is most important because being able to block click fraud through IP address blocking is absolutely vital.  One key difference between Google Ads and BING Ads is the inability to communicate with the IP exclusion list in BING Ads through the API.  This is an unfortunate situation that Click Guardian have been lobbying BING Ads for years to resolve.  Currently if BING click fraud is detected, it’s sadly a manual process of adding the IP exclusions at campaign level.

BING Click Fraud – The Verdict

Whilst BING Ads is a more than capable PPC platform it does have a disadvantage when managing BING click fraud. That said, Google Ads does also have its drawbacks and both platforms will invariably encounter click fraud in one form or another. Despite the dominance of Google Ads, Bing Ads is still an excellent platform but it does have issues managing click fraud. These issues are centred around analysis and reporting; a vital ingredient in the battle against fraudulent clicks. It is important to bear this in mind when running ads in Bing Ads. Click fraud will invariably occur but if you remember the strengths and weaknesses of Bing Ads you should be able to limit the impact.