If you thought click fraud was as basic as a competitor with a grudge clicking on your PPC ads then think again. Click fraud is a global problem that created an estimated $16.7 billion of wasted revenue for advertisers, up from $7.2 billion in 2016. So what does 2018 have in store for advertisers? No doubt the rising trend will continue, hence the rise of anti-click fraud solutions that provide a more comprehensive protection than Google’s Invalid Click filters.
Malware can often be overlooked as a source of click fraud but throughout the years various forms of click fraud malware have infected computers that go on to amplify the wider click fraud issue.
Why does click fraud malware exist and who is behind it?
These malicious programs come in the form of macros or little programs that install themselves on the host. Their main purpose is to infect and spread to as many computer hosts as possible. When called upon they can form a small army to click on ads. Typically the cyber-criminals behind the malware are publishing ads from the Google AdWords display network on web sites owned by them and are paid a small percentage for every click.
Various forms of malware exist, the most common are called MIUREF and Trojan.Kovter. More information can be found about each of these at Trend Micro and Malware Bytes Labs:
Source: Trend Micro
Malware comes in many different forms with varying functions, having used Malware Bytes to scan our own networks at Click Guardian, we can recommend with confidence that it’s an effective tool to ensure malware infections do not exist. If you do happen to be infected then Malware Bytes also has the ability to remove infections.
Protecting you Google ads is vitally important if you want to get the best ROI. Whilst click fraud malware might not affect everyone, competitor clicking can be more than a nuisance.
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