The second most common type of click fraud after competitor driven fraud is probably a surprise to most people. IT isn’t necessarily bots. Many times, it can be your own customers.
Friendly fire fraud can happen in a couple of ways. First, it can be the result of excessive comparison shopping. You may know the domain and address of your website, but your potential customers don’t. They may be searching dozens of ads and they will click on yours, then perhaps go to a competitor’s site and check the price or features there and then click your ad again, forgetting that they were just on your website a few minutes or hours earlier. And this won’t necessarily happen only once. It may happen again and again. This is one of the main reasons PPCSecure allows you to have a set number of clicks you will allow before displaying a friendly warning message to your potential customer, asking them to kindly bookmark your page for future use instead of clicking your ad.
The second kind of friendly fire click fraud is most commonly seen inside apps, videos, and display/content network pages. It happens when someone accidentally clicks your ads. Many times, even though the click itself was not intentional, the cause of the click is. Many website owners and app developers who rely on advertising revenue to fund their operations will purposefully place ads very close to other popular website features. A good example would be an ad that appears at the bottom of a downloadable game or app which is close to the controls for the app. Another example would be an ad which is located directly adjacent to the scroll bar. The worst kind, however, is a link to an ad which looks like the feature or button the client was looking for. You can see this on certain software download websites. There will be a big green button that says download now but then another button lower down which has a similar function but a slightly different look or name.
Funny story…we actually received an email from a concerned parent a few weeks ago because their child clicked an in-app ad too many times and saw a PPCSecure warning message. This caused the child to confess to the parent and the parent contacted PPCSecure to let us know about the excessive clicking. The good news is that our warning worked as designed. The clicking stopped. Because our client used PPCSecure click fraud monitoring, they saved at least a few bucks on bad clicks. I can only imagine how much less careful that child might have been or how many more times they may have clicked our client’s ad had we not intervened.
Click fraud can happen at any time. And it’s not always a robot or a rival. Sometimes, it is innocuous or from an unexpected source and the only way to stop it is to monitor, detect, warn and then block. We can help you do all of the above.