You’re suspicious that someone’s clicking on your AdWords ads as your spend has increased dramatically and all of a sudden enquiries have dropped.  It’s understandable that this causes panic as AdWords has always been a source of new enquiries and suddenly it seems that you’re under attack.

If this sounds like a familiar feeling then in this post we’ll reveal some steps you can take to identify that issue is indeed click fraud and things you can do to help stop the attack.

Firstly it’s important to ask yourself whether this is definitely out of character for your campaign.  Spend some time to look at trends and make comparisons against last week and last month on the same day.

Typically, higher than usual visitors and lack of conversions are a common sign that click fraud may be an issue.

Once your suspicions have been raised then looking for further signs such as higher than usual CTR is the next thing to home in to.  Ever seen 200% CTR?  Logically you should never be able to see this stat but sadly it’s a stat we’re overly familiar with.

The reason this statistic is so unusual is because Google claim to have displayed your ad once (1 impression), yet you’ve received 2 clicks. You don’t have to be a mathematician to know that this is an impossible situation!

Now your suspicions have been confirmed it’s time to turn your attention to the Dimensions tab.  On this tab click on the View and select Geographic and then sort by cost.  In this example the town/city is Unspecified but in our experience we’ve seen many other countries and areas with exceptionally high traffic which would be unnatural for a certain campaign.

At this point if you’ve identified areas that do not fit in with your campaign then it’s important to double check your coverage area in Campaign Settings.

It’s not uncommon for a campaign to have its settings setup incorrectly.  The location target option that gives the best protection is People in my targeted location combined with the target location being narrowed to your exact requirements.

If you’re reading this as a proactive measure to manage your campaigns more efficiently then now is the time to sign up for a free trial of Click Guardian.  Click Guardian will monitor for excessive clicking from people, competitors & bots and make blocks when excessive clicking is detected.  Once the IP addresses of the offenders are automatically added to your campaign IP exclusion lists, visitors from that source will no longer be able to waste your budget as your ads will not trigger to be clicked again.