There was once a time when click fraud in PPC was a big deal. At the agency I worked at we had a team dedicated to recovering the spend associated with fraudulent clicks and refunding it to our clients. It was a major selling point. They would analysis log files for fraudulent IP addresses, look at referring domains for fraudulent search partners, and present the evidence to the advertising platforms to secure refunds.
Admittedly a lot of this originated from Espotting/Miva, who were a network of search partners and so the opportunity for fraud was much greater. However it still occurred with the likes of Google and we still managed to secure refunds. This doesn’t seem to happen anymore.
Has this gone away because Google has managed to eradicate it? Or have we just lost the ability or incentive to identify it and the tenacity to push for the money to be refunded?
It certainly hasn’t reared its head in my world for a while. Until this week when I met up with a company called PPC Protect (www.ppcprotect.com). Their claim is that you could still be suffering from as much as 25% of your Google spend being fraudulent. Bold indeed. And potentially huge.
Through analysing IP addresses and ranges, looking at browser finger print data and device IDs they are able to identify this fraud and block your ads from appearing when the offending parties search.
This could have huge implications for the search market place if ther claims can be proven. Reduce your spend (and Googles revenue) by up to 25% without losing a single sale or lead. A pretty appealing message and a pretty big impact on the paid search marketplace if everybody was adopt their software.
Fraud has been front and centre in the world of programmatic advertising recently, is paid search the next market to be impacted?