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What classes as click fraud?

5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4144245 posted 8:02 am on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I launched a new Zen Cart ecommerce site at the weekend and am using Adwords to drive customers into the site in the early days - I am using a user tracking module addon for ZC which shows the users IP address, time on the site etc but also their path through the site in each session.

All clicks from Adwords are followed by a gclid reference so I can see where each customer comes from - I have so far noticed two main things:

1) High number of people who click the link and stay on the site for 0 seconds. I can understand someone staying a few seconds but zero looks suspicious to me especially as the keyword(s) are very specific and unambiguous so no one would click it not realising what it was.

2) Quite a lot of people seem to be clicking multiple times - in a given session I can see some users who come in from Adwords three or four times inside 10 or 20 seconds, click a few links on the site and then come back in again a few times from Adwords again. In some cases there can be 10+ Adword clicks from one user in the same session.

Looking at the Adwords GUI I am being charged for all of these so I assuming they are not being caught as fraud - do I need to contact Google about every "suspect" click, is this something they will pick up on themselves or do I just need to accept this is a part of PPC advertising and get on with it?





5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4144245 posted 6:42 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

are you using 'content' or 'search' ads ?


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4144245 posted 10:45 am on Jun 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Am only using search ads deliberately as, in the past, I found the content network to generate a lot of wasted clicks.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4144245 posted 5:10 pm on Jun 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

You have to get accustomed to Google playing dumb in this game. Google will do only what's needed to get legal off their back (whatever they think is enough).

You have a problem with invalid clicks, being that there is somebody or a group of people clicking on your ads deliberately or that genuine visitors are creating multiple clicks in a very short period (including double clicks), or that something hard to explain is happening.

So you approach AdWords, and all they do for you is to give you a link like this:


So you browse through it, and among all you see a link that says Invalid clicks troubleshooter:


You quickly pick that one in a hope you'll figure something out, and you pick a radio button that says I see many brief or zero-second visits to my site

And then...

You learn that your ads and/or site sucks.

In any way, it's your end - typical for today's world. When your Internet connection is down, it's not about ISP, it's your router you know. Contact the manufacturer.

Same with AdWords, it's never about them - but about us only.


WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4144245 posted 2:12 pm on Jun 7, 2010 (gmt 0)

Can't comment specifically on Adwords but in my site stats I regularly see the same visitors hitting the site within seconds by following the same link or using the same search. This can be repeated several tunes. In moderation it could just be down to the normal weirdness of people.


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4144245 posted 11:33 am on Jun 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

The zero seconds visits are generally due to the analytics and not that the person actually only spent zero seconds on the site. If a person only views 1 page there is often no way for the analytics to record the point at which the user exited therefore the visit will read as 0 seconds even though they may have been there for a couple of minutes.

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