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I've contacted Google and will be sending them logs of the offenders - i was wondering what your guys experience is with competitors like this? What is the best option to stop them?
That's what I would do, but would it block the click? i.e. does Google count it before or after user actually loads the page?
Since all G is doing is sending back (to the UI) a redirect to the advertiser's site, it doesn't (in theory) know what happens afterwards. The redirect is what is being billed for.
Click through editing tools help to block the IP address if a dedicated line is used, without loosing traffic. I figure most competitors click to check whether the site has been updated, or to do the daily competitive analysis.
So if they can't see the website, competitors will loose interest.
I submitted a couple click fraud reports to Google Friday and they tell me that a competitor clicking on my ads is NOT to be considered invalid or fraudulent click activity (in my specific case that is). This really blows my mind as i sent google logs of the person cliking on an ad, staying for not even 5 seconds then leaving. I have logs of this competitor clicking around 11 ads over a 2 month period. From their visits i can make the assumption that the purpose of clicking our ads is NOT to come to our site and look around, or to shop (yea right), but they click on our ads with the sole purpose of costing us money (as our logs can prove) but Google will not do anything about it. Keep in mind this competitor clicking on ads IS an Adwords advertiser.
I'm waiting for a more definitive answer from Google about this practice. While it seems highly un-ethical to click on competitors ads for malicious purposes, Google sees it different and from how i'm understanding it.
Google states the following about invalid click activity.....
Google strictly prohibits any method used to artificially generate invalid clicks or page impressions and closely monitors clicks on Google AdWords ads to prevent abuse. Invalid clicks may include the following:
- Manual clicks intended to increase your advertising costs or to increase profits for website owners hosting your ads.
- Clicks by automated tools, robots, or other deceptive software.
My competitor is clicking with the sole purpose of increasing my advertising costs - i don't see how google doesn't see this from my logs and click activity.
Google states in an e-mail.....
Any advertiser or publisher participating in invalid click activity or any related offense is subject to legal prosecution. We will also take the appropriate action on the related account and ensure that these individuals are not allowed further participation in the Google Network.
The best defense to this may just be a few phone calls to my competitors to let them know i can see what they are doing, and as someone else mentioned, it would be in their best interest to STOP seeing as to how they are AdWords advertisers as well. A semi-friendly phone call may just be the most effective option that i have.
We'll see where this goes..