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Google AdWords Forum

Disturbing CSR response
in regards to fradudulent clicks.

 2:15 am on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yesterday I submitted a ticket to adwords explaining three or fours reasons why I suspected I was getting fraudulent clicks. Now Im no big time spender but I was really amazed at their response.
The email thanked me of course, and then went on to explain how super advanced their technology was and how they had whole teams of scientists analyzing clicks and that was it. No mention of "we'll look at your ads and see if anything is wrong," no nothing.
So basically I said
"I think I'm getting fraudulent clicks."
And basically they said
"No you're not."
Wow. How comforting. I owe alot to adwords but this is seriously disturbing.
At this rate I won't be able to afford adwords, and it really seems like they don't care at all. Nice.



 2:27 am on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

No, they don't. I've had big time fraud clicks and they didn't do a thing.

Import Export

 5:03 am on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Could not agree more with the both of you. Additionally, monthly spend has no wieght in getting any further than those generic responses.

I think the engineers are so hard working and so protective of what goes on there that they don't have completely clear and objective reviews of their systems.

I know AWA does put in work to address things, but even he can only go so far. Then it will be left up to the individuals deep on the inside as to whether they can step out of the ego suit (if wearing one) and truley treat the fraudulent click through issues.


 1:38 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

It would be stupid to click on your competitor's ads. It may add some extra costs for him, but you'd ultimately be improving his CTR and vaulting him up the ranks.


 1:43 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Reading the Adsense forum, I beleive Google has figured out how to weed out fraudulent clicks!


 1:51 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I received a refund once for some fraudulent clicks and I know that I am not the only one.


 7:09 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

How do you guys figure out that you have fraudulent clicks and that those are through AdWords? Through your web logs?


 7:19 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Fraudulent clicks can only be guessed at by us, and Google doesn't reveal the specifics of how they determine it for understandable reasons.

I actually find myself hesitating to click on *any* Adwords ads, like ones that are unrelated to what I am advertising, but that I am interested in, for fear that it will look like I am trying to defraud someone else. Because if they have flagged my IP or whatever as an advertiser, does that mean I should not be clicking on anyone else's ads, even non-competitors? And how could they determine if that person is a competitor of mine or not anyway?


 7:25 pm on Jul 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, I can't be sure beyond a shadow of a doubt, but when:
My clickthrough rate goes fivefold in one day,
My ads on content network have a signifigantly higher ctr than search,
When I get three phony inquiries in one morning,
When my daily budget is reached before noon and it hasnt ever done that,

Then I suspect something may be amiss.
I've turned off international as well as content ads and that seems to have helped.

I actually doubt it is a competitor, just some careless lowlife who thinks it's funny to flush someone else's money down the drain.

And no, it's not "foolish" to systematically click on a competitors ad, although it pushes them up, when they are paying big money for fake clicks, it can easily dry up an entire months budget in one day, as well as demoralizing a competitor. It's basically the same thing as walking into someone elses store, stealing the cash register, and dumping the money in the trash. Only if the victim is naive he just writes it off as a cost of business, when it's not, it's robbery.

I;m not doubting Google doesnt catch some of the bad clickers, but I'd bet for every one that gets fixed there are three or four that don't even get looked at.
And that will continue to not get looked at until many of the smaller merchants like me disappear and those billions of G's revenue gets much smaller. </rant>

Import Export

 1:08 am on Jul 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

A seemingly random rise in CTR can be attributed to a host of factors beyond your sight, especially when your running international campaigns.

Let's say your business is centered around "ordinary widgets". Just imagine if a small cable television station did a small piece on widgets. . If the story was compelling people might go searching for more information on the topic. The spike in search traffic results in a spike in the CTR on your ad. These people don't leave feedback, and things quickly return to normal.

That stands as 1 of truley infinite examples for a rise in CTR. When speaking of fraudulent clicks, it is important to identify evidence beyond the actual 'rise-in-clicks'.


 9:38 am on Jul 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

When speaking of fraudulent clicks, it is important to identify evidence beyond the actual 'rise-in-clicks'.

And how does one identify evidence? I may sound like another paranoid adwords campaigner that has NO evidence but just knows that a fraudulent click has taken place when I am silently watching with an invisible tracking program, and you just know that in twenty seconds the visitor is off your site, having done the job.

However, I have begun to accept that a small percentage of that happening (as long as it remains a small percentage) is inevitable, and one has to treat that suspicion as a write-off, as far as your accounts are concerned.


 8:07 pm on Jul 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

How come when CTR goes down, it's Google's fault for showing bad ads, but when CTR goes up, it's the fault of some hacker or evil competitor?

Maybe Google improved your ad mix, and that's why the CTR went up.


 12:06 am on Jul 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Maybe Google improved your ad mix, and that's why the CTR went up.

Maybe. We all have our opinions though.


 1:32 am on Jul 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hmm I don't remember saying I "know" I've had fraudulent clicks at all.
I do remember typing about four other reasons beyond ctr a few posts before...


 10:50 pm on Aug 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Google doesn't do anything about fraud. I had a keyword get about 100x the usual daily clicks. Luckily *I* picked up on it, as it was $2 a click. I sent them an email and they gave me a "we'll look at it" blah blah response. So I emailed them again telling them that I want it resolved ASAP and we eventually got a $1500 credit. The thing is, if I hadn't picked up on it they wouldn't have said anything. And the fraud was SO obvious, even the most basic fraud protection should pick up on it easily.

Watch your clicks. You are getting screwed every day you probably just don't realize it. You'll only notice when you get huge fraud.


 11:22 pm on Aug 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

it can easily dry up an entire months budget in one day

Adwords doesn't charge you more than your daily budget no matter how many clicks you get. You could only lose a month's budget in a day if you set your daily maximum at insanely unrealistic levels compared to what you were in fact willing to spend.

On days when you get more clicks than your daily budget would cover, the amount will show up in your stats but at the end of the month you will only be billed for the amount you actually budgeted day by day.

Unusual click activity can occur for many reasons besides fraud, as has been pointed out. Be aware of the possibilities but don't be too quick to assume the worst. Alert Google if you have concerns, but wait to see what you're actually charged at the end of the month before you make a federal case out of it.


 9:25 am on Aug 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

So is there a way of banning an IP address from viewing your ads?

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