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Click Fraud - How do you measure the intent of a click?

Google Ads Agency > Blog > adwords expert > Click Fraud – Measuring the intent of a click
  • Joshua Erdman

What is the cost of a click?  It takes no effort for your finger to press that little button on your mouse, but it is what you click on where the dollars add up. For example, a single click on an ad could cost a plumber as much as $20.  Depending on the location, amount of competition and industry the Cost Per Click (CPC) in the world of digital marketing can skyrocket.  It is not uncommon to see the CPC for bail-bondsmen or personal injury lawyers exceed several hundred dollars!  With a simple click of the mouse a new customer (or competitor) can spend your advertising dollars filling Google’s wallet.

Since clicking is so easy, what keeps a competitor from depleting your Digital Marketing budget from their fraudulent clicks?  With so much money at stake, click fraud is certainly real and Google claims to protect you, reporting and refunding you on these ‘invalid clicks’ as they call them.  But to Google, what does a fraudulent click look like and how can they tell the difference? It is easy to conclude that a ‘doubleclick’ should result in one invalid click on the 2nd click.  But what about 2 clicks on the same day? Or over the same week?  How should a click be considered when they are from the same computer but from different internet providers?  We can come up both legitimate and malicious situations for all these scenarios.  Certainly Google has some algorithmic way to detect and prevent click fraud to maintain a good reputation; after-all they generated over $95 billion in ad sales in 2017 – plenty of motivation to stay on good terms with their advertisers.

How do you measure intent?

Since you cannot detect intent on the other side of the mouse, preventing click fraud becomes an almost impossible task.  Some 3rd party companies claim to have the ability to prevent click fraud.  They provide website plug-ins and a connection to your AdWords account via an API.  Do they know something that Google doesn’t?  And if a third party click-fraud company is doing a good job, how should this be measured?  When it comes to click-fraud there are certainly more questions than answers.

We wrote on the subject almost ten years ago and although prevention can be difficult (and sometimes impossible) our experience allows us to assess if you are a target of click fraud.  From years of PPC management we have a suite of creative solutions that will continue to bring you business without paying for the amusement of your competitors.

Author: Joshua Erdman
I was born and raised on 5 acres in Clovis, CA just outside of Fresno. I love living in the country and making memories with my kids.I was blessed to have several memorable and life forming moments at key times: I enjoyed an internship in Van Nuys at Anheuser-Busch in the IT department that summer. Being the youngest guy on the plant, I was reminded daily from co-workers that although I couldn’t drink their product I was free to explore the plant; which I took advantage of while assisting the IT staff. From that job experience I found my calling in working with people and technology and found confidence with communicating with leaders.In February of 2003, I started my own business with no experience about accounting, HR, and marketing. It was such a scary time - and a thrill! Digital Foundation was a great success growing each year and remaining profitable, even in the economic crisis in 2008.In the beginning of 2014, I sold my business, looking for new business opportunities. During this time I served a 2-year term as President at Softec and am still a member of the board.Now as the CEO of a national Internet Marketing Agency, I get to spend each day working with a great team navigating the tumultuous waters of ever changing tech. We look at new ways to help our clients market themselves in this exciting world of tech, voice search, and augmented reality.I enjoy public speaking, growing people's knowledge of technology and the world where people, business, and technology intersect.My goals: Make a Difference Make Memories Lead by Example Enjoy my Passions Find Humor with the small bumps in the road