Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Heavyweight Digital Ltd
About
Heavyweight Digital Ltd's posts

Post has attachment
When the first incarnation of Google AdWords was launched in October 2000, it’s safe to say that it changed online marketing forever. Now sixteen years later it is an integral part of many business marketing activities.

However, just as thousands of companies across the globe are enjoying the benefits of using AdWords’ pay-per-click service, there are certain individuals and organisations out there who are willing to exploit it in more negative ways.

As a digital marketer, you may already be aware of the problem of ‘click fraud’ in Google’s publishing CPC network, AdSense. This involves AdSense publishers automating the clicking of ads that appear on their own websites which increases their share of revenue. At first, this was done by publishers themselves, but as Google is an organisation that continually tries to prevent such scams, these fraudsters were quickly identified and banned from the AdSense program.

This quickly led to these fraudulent publishers looking for other ways to exploit AdSense, and this in turn led to the development of ‘click farms’ offering such services. Staffed by teams of low paid workers in countries such as India and Bangladesh, according to a Guardian investigation in 2013, click farms run 24 hours a day on a three shift system, with workers being paid as little as $120 per year. As well as clicking on AdSense ads, other services offered include fake Facebook likes, YouTube views and Twitter followers.

There is of course a corresponding scam involving the AdWords network. The ‘click fraud’ in this case is where an advertiser clicks on a competitor’s ads, raising their costs and exhausting their ad budget. In 2014 Brian Krebs, the international cyber-crime expert, unearthed a scam involving an established AdWords fraudster operating on a Russian crime forum. With prices ranging from $100 to $1000, services ranged from a handful of ad blocks being blocked for 24 hours to having unlimited access to their software and service to attack a number of ads indefinitely.

We’ve found no trace of GoodGoogle, but a cursory search of Fiverr revealed hundreds of profiles offering AdSense click services. We made enquiries with several and it wasn’t long before we uncovered several offering fraudulent AdWords services too. We spoke to several people, from individuals in Asia simply willing to click on anything you ask them to, to seemingly more professional setups. One such service even offered packages. Their Regular offering being up to 300 clicks for $5, their Extreme/Bombard offering promising up to 1000 clicks in a day for $10. Understandably, Google are tight-lipped about the issue of AdWords fraud, so is there evidence that there is an increase in it being used as a tool to harm or even destroy business competitors?

Although Google are actively monitoring for invalid traffic and have systems in place to combat fraudulent activity, there are always those that stay ahead of the game and we’ve noticed a small but significant increase in click fraud activity. The majority of companies using AdWords rely on Google to highlight any fraudulent clicks on their account, but there are lots of ways that companies can protect themselves, so it’s crucial that they take a proactive attitude to AdWords click fraud.”

Whether these ‘extreme click’ attacks are fully effective or not, it’s unsettling to think that there are people out there willing to maliciously attack your company for just a few dollars.



Post has attachment
LeadBot. is a powerful lead generation tool designed to reveal the identity and contact information of your unknown website visitors.

Your web site visitor's company information is presented in an easy-to-use dashboard, which allows you to reveal insights on your prospects.


Post has attachment
3 Types of Click Fraud You Need To Know About


Click fraud is an increasingly common problem for businesses who use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. It involves the pay-per-click ads (such as those on Google’s AdWords’ program) being abused, leading them to appear to have been clicked by far more users than they actually have. It is used most commonly for one of two reasons:

1. To increase the revenue of their websites, some internet publishers may participate in certain types of click fraud to encourage more clicks to be made on the ads on their site.
2. Competitors to a particular company using PPC may participate in certain types click fraud to deplete their competitor’s ad budgets. If their competitor’s daily ad budgets are exceeded, their ads cannot be displayed. Over time, this can be financially crippling for a company and can result in a dramatic drop in new business.

Three of the major types of click fraud you need to be aware of are:

Crowdsourcing

Click fraud by crowdsourcing is the most traditional, simplest and obvious type of click fraud. This is where the publisher of a site blatantly asks visitors to the site to click on the ads. They do this often by asking visitors to the site to ‘support this site by clicking these ads’, thus receiving an income for each click from Google’s Adsense program. Publishers who do this often cite that ‘everyone's a winner’ by doing this… they receive money from the clicks and they have driven people to click and view the ads, some of whom may be interested in the product/service. However this sort of behaviour is forbidden by Google as it represents poor value to advertisers who are paying for clicks that are done so not out of interest, but out of obligation, resulting in poorly targeted traffic.

Click Farms

One of the more extreme types of click fraud is utilising a click farm. This is where people are paid money in exchange for clicking on adverts all day. The people paid to do this are usually in third world or developing countries where there are large numbers of people without work and who are struggling for money and can be hired for a very low wage. Whilst there is an extra labour cost of using real people rather than bots to do this, they do have one significant advantage for the fraudsters. This is the fact that the people involved can be told how to click in a more natural way in an attempt to avoid detection. Click farms can be used by both internet publishers to increase their income as well as companies who want to employ them to click on their competitor’s ads and deplete their advertising budget.

Bot Networks

Botnets are another popular form of click fraud and are essentially an automated click farm. Here, criminals infect large networks of computers with malware. The owners of these computers and networks are unaware that malware is present and their computers silently carry out visits to certain sites, clicking on particular ads. This can be a particularly difficult type of click fraud to detect unless you have a system such as Click Guardian. This is because the clicks look unrelated having come from many different IP addresses.

If you’re concerned that your pay-per-click campaign could be the target of fraudulent clicks, get in touch today to discuss our Click Guardian service which can give you complete protection from such activities.



Post has attachment
3 Reasons Why You Should Never Click On Your Competitors Ads

If you’re running a PPC campaign on Google’s AdWords (the world’s premier PPC network) then it can sometimes be frustrating to see your business competing with your direct competitors who may always seem to be getting the top spot. This can seriously impact the amount of new business that you bring in and could even harm your business in the long run.

Some companies can be tempted on clicking on their competitors ads with a view on depleting their daily advertising budget. Once exhausted, this would result in their competitive ad disappearing for the rest of the day, leaving less competition for that crucial top spot on Google. Is it a legitimate tactic? No. Is it effective? It isn’t. We take a look at three reasons why you should never click on your competitors ads.


It’s Against Google’s Guidelines…. And It Could Get You Banned

The first and foremost reason not to click on your competitors ads is that it is against Google’s guidelines and could result in you being banned from the AdWords program. If you’re a user of AdWords then you will be aware just how effective it can be in terms of bringing business in. Are you really prepared to risk this highly effective sales channel? Getting banned from AdWords will almost certainly harm your business far more than your competitors ads will. And such policies are not just limited to AdWords either. You’ll find such activities are banned from most if not all advertising networks.

You Could Be Funding Criminal Activity

If you decide that you seriously want to try and damage your competitors PPC campaigns then you may be tempted to look into such things as click farms or bot networks to fraudulently click on your competitor’s ads. Click farms are where a large group of people, usually in a poor country where pay is very low are paid to click on ads all day. Bot networks are similar but all of this is done virtually, malware infecting people’s computers around the world that secretly click on ads without their knowledge. Click farms and bot networks are often associated with other forms of criminal activity so your money could be supporting a host of other, more serious crimes.

Easy to Stop When Using the Right Technology

The third reason why it’s not a good idea to click on your competitors ads is that if your competitor is using an effective piece of software such as Click Guardian then fraudulent clicks are very easy to detect. Your clicks are simply wasting YOUR time and money and not theirs and they’re easily trackable too. If this information is given to Google, it could result in your AdWords account being suspended.

What You Should Do Instead Of Clicking On Your Competitors Ads

A far better way to outshine your competitors AdWords is to look at your AdWords campaign and see where it can be strengthened. There are a host of areas you can look at where simple changes can make a real difference. If you’re not sure what can be done, employing a reputable PPC agency to help you can be one of the savviest investments you can make.

Wait while more posts are being loaded