You took the time to research AdWords, watched your one to two hours of YouTube videos and decided to try it yourself. The budget has been set, you chose the keywords, the landing page or pages the ads will lead to, and bid on the keywords. You cross your fingers, say a prayer and hope for the best.
The first few days go smoothly. Your ad got clicks, traffic came to the right page and you even got an order! Congrats. It probably didn’t happen in one day – but – let’s be overly positive.
“I had a $50 per day budget and each click was $3.00; 15 clicks = $45
If each item is $50 I need at least one out of 15 clicks to lead to a purchase. “
“Okay, one click cost $3.00 and the order was for a $50 item…. That’s not bad. I was spending more effort and money on Search Engine Optimization (organic) and didn’t see such quick results.
My keywords with lower bids didn’t work, and the higher bid words didn’t get clicked — so far — so good.”
Another week goes by. More clicks — more money spent — same keywords as before — but no one is buying. The bounce rate on the landing page is rising. People are clicking .. But not staying on the landing page – and worse — not buying — and even worse, my AdWords account balance is being depleted.
What is going on? You call Google customer support, and they take a look at your account, they compliment you for your account, show you a few tricks but in addition, they say that you should increase your budget.
Another week goes by. You increase your budget so your Ad will run longer – (once your daily budget has been reached your Ad will not show in searches) during the day. You now have a $100 daily budget and you get more clicks, you even check that your ad comes up in searches. You did not change the keywords or the bid. You only increased the budget.
Another week goes by. More clicks, again, no time on the landing page, and no purchases, no emails left, nothing happened — except you lost more money on AdWords.
Anything with the word fraud in it makes people crazy.
What can I do?
How do I even know it is fraud?
In the meantime, you lost money, you had to “pause” your ad and your business is once again stalled.
Google AdWords charges only if the Ad receives a click. That’s the platform. That is where the Click Fraud happens. Click Fraud is purposeful clicking on your ads by individuals or companies that cause your business to lose money. And as long as we have the model of PPC we’re likely to continue seeing fraudulent clicks.
Since Google Adwords generates money for Google on the clicks, they appear to have a conflict of interest to stop it. Some industry estimates estimate billions of dollars to Google are from fraudulent clicks.
The companies engaging in Click Fraud want you to be on Google AdWords and they want you to lose money. Often it is your direct competitor. What you really care about is getting your money back and for the fraud to stop. Google (after extensive effort and time on your part) might agree with your claim and reimburse you. But again, instead of running your business, and bringing in revenue and new customers, you were busy trying to get money back from Google. In addition, your ad was not live and your competition Ads were live…