Five ways you can be fooled by click fraud

The success of any pay-per-click (PPC) campaign depends on the merchant’s ability to correctly attribute clicks to the right affiliate. With PPC, clicks are the currency. It’s how merchants track success and it’s how they pay affiliates who host links for them. Unfortunately, there are many ways that PPC campaigns can be fooled. Here’s a look at five types of click fraud that can negatively impact merchants:

  1. Malware infected computers. One of the most malicious and difficult to catch forms of click fraud is malware infected computers. It involves using a network of infected computers that inflate the number of clicks. It’s estimated that malware infected computers result in advertisers losing millions each year.
  2. Hit inflation. Another aggressive form of click fraud is hit inflation. This works by automatically redirecting legitimate users to an advertisement and back to the website they were trying to view. Even if the user didn’t see the ad or didn’t want to click on the ad, they are taken to it briefly. The host site counts this as a click and advertisers are paying the host site for that click even though it was not a legitimate click.
  3. Click farms. Unlike hit inflation and malware infected computers, click farms rely on real people who are paid to click on advertisements. These click farms usually operate from third world countries where there are plenty of people willing to work for very little pay. Of course these people that are clicking on ads have no intent to purchase, they are simply driving up advertising costs for merchants in return for a little money.
  4. Incentivized traffic. Similar to click farms, incentivized traffic is when the site hosting the links offers people a reward for clicking on the link. These clicks are worthless to the advertisers paying for them because the people clicking on them have no interest in the advertisement, only the reward they get in exchange for clicking on it.
  5. The use of messages to get clicks. Like incentivized traffic visitors are encouraged to click on advertisements but not by the promise of an incentive. Instead there might be a message asking visitors to click on them.

The advantage of pay-per-call

In recent years, the pay-per-call industry has grown tremendously as merchants begin to realize the value of call leads over clicks. Call leads are much more likely to convert than click leads. As a result, they’re much more valuable to merchants. Also, because call leads are the result of people calling in to learn about a product or service, it can’t be tricked by fraudulent activities such as malware and hit inflation.

Source: Entrepreneur

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