Very often big business houses fight about the quality of their products in advertising media. It is a sign of bitter competition and these fights are settled somehow in or out of the court. On the Internet, where detection is difficult due to it being a virtual medium, the competition takes a different pitch. Here the competition is killed by fraudulent means.
Internet has always been a thriving place for fraudsters, for instance, dubious websites pretending to be the legal websites of other businesses or organizations, extracting personal details like credit card data of online users only to siphon off money from their accounts. The reason for such proliferation of fraudsters is the masked protection offered by the medium itself.
In PPC advertising, frauds happen in the form of unknown individuals or groups clicking the advertisement with no intention of buying the services, only to deplete the account of the advertiser. The malicious intention is to kill the competition by depleting the advertisement budget, thereby making the businesses removed from the advertising space. It is estimated that 20% of all clicks are fraudulent.
Just who is involved in these frauds? Sometimes it could be some strange individual clicking at an advertisement for unknown reasons. The reasons could be behavioral anomalies, just like addictive shoplifting, a complete dissatisfaction of the products leading to take such action, etc. The above case would be rare and the effect minimal. The effect would be disastrous when it is organized.
A big business with a huge advertisement budget may organize this crime by hiring people (IndiaTimes, a daily in India, reported about this in an article) or with the help of software, just to click at the advertisements of the competitor in order to remove it from the host site. It could also be the service provider who is doing the same to generate revenues. In any case, the victim is severely drained of the resources without the energy or a way to fight back.
What are the mitigation strategies? The host sites provide unique IP tracking software that would detect multiple clicks from the same IP and therefore not deduct money from the account. At the individual or business level, it is advised to track the budget and if the account is depleted suddenly by a huge amount without any sales being realized, to take up the matter with the host, to get a refund, and to keep mining the log files of the server for the purpose of identifying multiple clicks. When it is not possible for businesses to do it by themselves, specialized services are available who keep track of clicks, report to the websites and get refunds. Software is available that sends a warning message to the IP address from whence the fraudster is working.
About the author: Marcus Peterson PPC Advertising provides detailed information about PPC advertising, optimized PPC advertising and more. PPC Advertising is affiliated with Cheap Internet Web Hosting.