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I’m at the edge of the pond getting ready to dip my toes into AdWords for the first time. However, I have a question about click fraud. Is there any way to prevent nefarious people (like competitors) from running up your bill, like if you see the same IP clicking on your keyword ad(s) repeatedly in a short timeframe to exhaust your limit? Does Google provide a way to deal with these chronic offenders so you don’t have to pay for their unscrupulous actions?
You should be more worried about fraudulent sites in the search and content network. While it will depend on what industry you are in, you can often find sites that popped up a couple days ago sending 3-4 times the traffic of Google itself. While easy to catch, you could spend all your free time sending reports to Google for the fraudulent traffic.
So what I'm trying to say is to be less worried about the 5 or so clicks a competitor might ding you for, and be more worried about the 2,000 some fly-by-night site will send you of complete crap traffic.
Is there any way to take a proactive measure
Proactive measure? If you mean to be proactive in stopping it before it starts then no.
But if you mean to be proactive after the first click then yes. The easiest way that I know of to stop it before it gets out of hand is to programmatically check each referring site clicks come from. I've set our scripts to spider each page immediately and either take action through the API if a less desirable site is found or let a human run through the info in our reports and decide what to do.
Yahoo says I can't block these sites and does not seem to be interested in helping.
Any one else with same issue?
I fully expect this b@stard to click on my AdWords 2,000 times a month. He’s that kind of a jerk. If I have their IP, can/will Google block them before the funny business begins, or do I need cause?
I'll worry about the other kinds of fraud when I notice them. In the meanwhile, I'm reluctant to engage AdWords.