Many websites and businesses today are operating on tight marketing budgets. Every penny counts when you’re chasing the top position in SEO, and anything that drains your funds makes that goal more difficult, including click fraud. Click fraud is a pervasive problem that can have catastrophic impacts on websites and budgets. Here we outline how exactly click fraud can affect your budget and what can be done about it.

What Are the Common Sources of Click Fraud?

Click fraud is a far more common issue than many people realise. Numerous people might be motivated to engage in click fraud. Competitors can use click fraud to harm their competitors financially, while websites can use click fraud to make their sites seem more attractive to potential advertisers. Even well-meaning users can accidentally engage in click fraud and cause your costs to increase.

Competing businesses can deliberately click on your ads themselves, or they can write an automated script to do it for them. However, there are now click farms available for hire that use a large number of people and computers to generate “organic” activity on demand. Click farms are increasingly acting as mercenaries for hire for anyone looking to use click fraud to attack their competitors.

What Impacts Does Click Fraud have On Websites?

Digital marketers working with PPC have had to make significant adjustments to their strategies. Time spent wrestling with new algorithm updates represents money spent for websites. As a result, Google’s sometimes esoteric algorithm updates have already eaten into digital marketing budgets recently.

Click fraud can drive up the costs of bidding for key search terms. If a competitor decides that they can’t afford to outrank a competitor using conventional SEO methods, they might turn to click fraud as an alternative. Click fraud can make the search terms that a business depends on unaffordable and cause severe damage to a website’s marketing budget.

How to Protect Your Website from Click Fraud

There have been cases of individual ad fraud groups making millions of dollars every day. The Methbots ad fraud network used click fraud to generate false clicks on premium video ads across a network of just over 6,000 domains. This activity was enough to generate $3-5 million every day.

The amount of money on the line for both the fraudsters and their victims is enormous. Websites in the 21

st century need to protect themselves from click fraud. There are steps that you can take yourself, but this depends on the fraudsters being sloppy enough to leave a trace.

Instead of trying to identify and curtail click fraud yourself, you should consider an ad fraud detection service like ClickGUARD. Professional fraudsters operating bot farms will use proxies and other tools to cover their tracks. ClickGUARD provides you with automatic click and ad fraud prevention services. This article on how to mitigate the threat of bot farms highlights the sophistication of ad fraudsters today.

Click fraud can have a severe impact on the budgets of digital marketers, websites, and businesses. Defending against the most rudimentary forms of click fraud is relatively easy, but the most sophisticated operators require more sophisticated defences. Don’t wait until click fraud starts decimating your budget; put defences in place now.