Fully grasping the finer points of click fraud can be challenging for business owners whose knowledge of digital marketing is limited. Nonetheless, having at least a basic understanding is critical for any business that advertises through the pay-per-click (PPC) model. The more business owners know about click fraud, the more proactive they can be in protecting themselves.
A good way to grasp the click fraud concept is to compare it to home burglary. It turns out that click fraud and burglary have a lot in common. The motivations behind the two crimes are similar, as are the preventative measures potential victims can take.
1. The Goal Is to Steal from You
Though some instances of click fraud are perpetrated by unhappy customers or competitors looking for an edge, the vast majority of click fraud is perpetrated by scammers who have a single purpose in mind: stealing from you. Burglars operate with the same motivation. They break in to homes in search of items they can easily sell on the street or in pawn shops. They are only interested in their own financial gain.
2. Perpetrators Look for Soft Targets
Click fraud perpetrators are not stupid. Like burglars, they seek out soft targets. Burglars look for homes they can get into and out of quickly, with minimal risk of getting caught. The softer the target, the better.
The same goes for people who perpetrate click fraud. They target the easiest ads first. They target the advertisers least likely to discover what they are doing. If they need to work too hard to make money on a given target, fraudsters are more likely to abandon that target and move on to the next one.
3. Burglars and Fraudsters Are Lazy
Not wanting to get caught is only half of the soft target equation. Another reason burglars and fraudsters tend to seek out soft targets is laziness. Let’s face it, burglars and fraudsters are too lazy to get real jobs and work hard. They want the easy way out. It is easier to make a living by stealing from someone else than it is to get a job and pull their own weight. The good news for advertisers is that lazy fraudsters do not cover their tracks very well. They can be discovered and blocked.
4. Deterrence is the Key to Prevention
If you forget all the other points in this post, remember this one: deterrence is the key to prevention. In a burglary scenario, protecting yourself is a matter of making it as difficult as possible for burglars to do what they do. That is why experts recommend installing burglar alarms, keeping windows and doors locked at all times, and other similar strategies.
Preventing click fraud works the same way. Make it as difficult as possible for fraudsters to target you. How? By blocking suspicious IP addresses, deploying certain display strategies that make it more difficult for fraudsters to click your ads, etc.
5. Fraudsters and Burglars Hate Monitoring
Did you know you can monitor your site and ads for click fraud? Companies like Fraud Blocker do for online advertisers what home security companies do for homeowners. Fraudsters and burglars alike hate monitoring. So deploy click fraud monitoring on your website and monitor home security in your home. You will be safer on both fronts.
Click fraud and burglary have a lot in common. Those who perpetrate the two crimes think along similar lines. As a result, prevention strategies for both crimes are also similar. The key to prevention is making life as difficult as possible on those who would victimize you.