Is Competitor Click Fraud Real? Do Competitors Really Click Your Ads?

Is Competitor Click Fraud Real? Do Competitors Really Click Your Ads?

If you are a business owner and if you either manage your own or provide Google Ads outsourcing services, you would have come across discussions revolving around competitor click fraud. Therefore, is it a real phenomenon faced by people in the advertising sphere and to what extent does it affect your Google advertising campaigns? We will discuss a little more about this aspect in detail in the article below. 

Click fraud- myth or reality? 

Businesses typically run pay-per-click ad campaigns. Many business owners are convinced that their competitors are out to get them through Google ads fake clicks. When you have an ongoing ad campaign, you need to pay the publisher per click. This means that if a click is not converting to a customer, you are losing money on each click that is made. The truth is that competitor click fraud does happen, but not to the epic proportions you are imagining.  

Statistics on click fraud

Statistics show that about 17% of the clicks that occur are invalid google ad clicks by competitors, but Google is aware and has this issue under control. But the fact is that this element of fraud is part of a much bigger issue faced by google ad campaigns. Research reveals that the real threat to your ad campaign is bott traffic and the latest numbers as of 2020 confirms that 37.2 % of online users are bots. 

What is bott traffic?

Bott traffic can be defined as non-human traffic on a website. It behaves like a human and mimics human actions. These bots can fill out forms on your website and can send spam messages all over the world in a matter of minutes. When such bots click on your ads, it is considered as invalid google ad clicks and this can lead to disastrous results for you. These harmful bots could be of different types such as click fraud bots, spambots, web scrapers etc. Bad bots account for about 24.1 % of online traffic. 

How can bad bots be a threat to your ad campaign? 

Every ad campaign has a set budget and bad bots scraping or spamming your website can lead to wasting of this budget. There are other reasons how these bots can threaten your PPC campaign. Read on to learn more about the categories of bad bods that exist.

Types of bad bots: 

  1. Spam Bots: As the name suggests, these bots collect email addresses from the internet and then bombard them with spam emails regarding various products and services. You can identify such spam emails as the content promoting their products are badly phrased in broken English. 
  2. Click Fraud Bots: These are non-human clicking bots that perform hundreds of google ad fake clicks that appear realistic from human users. These bots cause advertisers huge losses year after year. The problem is that it is quite difficult to identify this bot activity and this is not a top priority for ad networks who are trying to earn more from selling PPC ads. The best way to track bot activity is by investing in a click fraud detection software. This can block invalid google ad clicks to a large extent and can ensure that you are paying for quality traffic to your website instead of for multiple bot traffic. 
  3. Web Scraper Bots: These bots are always on the search for valuable data or assets that they can steal from your website. They do this by continuously scraping across sites. The data they collect is then used without permission and displayed on social media accounts and various other websites. 

In conclusion, we see that competitor click fraud though real, is a much smaller percentage when compared to the growing ad fraud rings. Competitors may click on your paid ad from time to time to cause some damage. But bot fraud through sophisticated ad fraud rings should be your main concern when it comes to your ad campaign. Take the necessary steps to protect your business website from these Google Ads fake clicks. Remember, the more you spend on Google ads, the more you are susceptible to ad fraud and losing money in the process. 


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