It has recently been reported that Uber, the global taxi technology company, filed a lawsuit against digital advertising agency, Fetch, over claims of click fraud; the illegal, excessive clicking of a company’s online ads to use up their daily advertising budget. Whether this fraud be at the hands of manual labourers employed by criminal ‘click farms’ or clever software – click fraud appears to be a topic plaguing news reports throughout the tech industry.
Within their lawsuit, Uber claim they asked Fetch to cease posting advertisements on all networks associated with Breitbart News due to seemingly false traffic; however, these mobile ads continued to appear.
The success of Uber’s digital mobile campaign is of particular importance, due to the nature of this business; being an app-based service hinged on the ease of its software for users across the globe, and so the millions claimed on behalf of Uber is unsurprising. This emphasises the need for enhanced click fraud security for all business owners who rely upon the performance of their online marketing campaigns.
Following the release of a counter-suit, it now appears Uber and Fetch are caught up in an ongoing legal dispute on the basis of using untrustworthy sites and disingenuous clicks – an issue requiring improved understanding.
In both cases, it may be argued that a significant amount of financial outlays could have been prevented and branding better protected if Uber’s Click Fraud security had been managed in-house, as opposed to entrusting the advertisers. After all, this savvy alternative would have prevented against any third-party discrepancies and eliminate the need for staggeringly high external costs, which should not be necessary when considering the affordability of ads themselves.
However, many businesses clearly remain unaware of ongoing click fraud threats and therefore, continue to fall victim to similar losses. To help with the task of protecting yourself against click fraud and emphasising the ease of which online ads can be securely delivered, Roy Dovaston of Click Guardian – the UK’s number one fraud-prevention service – highlights several ways in which this can be avoided.
1. Keep an eye on your competitors:
The most basic form of click fraud prevention is undoubtedly watching your competitors, for these are the businesses who are most likely to target your ad campaigns. To identify competitors, just simply monitor who is rivalling your keywords in search engines and regularly check their patterns of behaviour – remaining alert to any click inconsistencies.
While it is crucial to remain vigilant with regards to your competitors, you must also remain focused on the performance of your own campaign; checking your ratings for irregular spikes daily. If for any reason your ads demonstrate a surprising and unexpected spike in clicks, this may not indicate success but rather be an indication of possible click fraud; warranting further action.
2. Consider your audience:
Click fraud is becoming an increasingly diverse method of ad fraud and can appear in many different forms. For example, notorious ‘click farms’ are typically based in developed countries with low labour rates. Individuals working for click farms are often low-paid and hired for the sole purpose of clicking on your advertisements.
With this in mind, it may be beneficial to avoid posting ads in countries where you have more chance of experiencing click fraud; using strategic location selection to prevent click fraud harming your online campaigns.
3. Utilise a click fraud prevention service:
If you feel particularly overwhelmed by the pressure to prevent click fraud, it may prove useful to use a click-fraud prevention service or software. For example, Click Guardian offers a detection and protection service which monitors all clicks on your ads, tracks the behaviour of your visitors and automatically blocks AdWords if excessive clicking is detected. Once a block is issued, ads are no longer delivered to the specific perpetrator, meaning all of your remaining advertising budget will remain intact.
The use of such proactive software eliminates pressure to prevent click-fraud on behalf of business owners and managers. Alongside this, the affordability of many external programmes allows for their use in any size business.