After getting hit with some click fraud hard in December 2013 I had to turn off all of my Bing / Yahoo advertising. I knew there was some click fraud, but I was hopeful that working with my Bing rep would help get to the bottom of the issue. Sadly, myself and several other business associates I know of using Bing / Yahoo advertising also had to turn off advertising.
Here's a confession...We've been managing various types of paid traffic (pay per click) for six plus years and have never implemented any type of click fraud prevention for Adwords or Bing advertising. It was easy not to because our conversion data looked good, but that's what click fraud scammers do...they make their criminal activity look real by completing forms with realistic looking data. That's about to change. Furthermore, it's one more reason anyone looking to jump into pay per click advertising with a budget of $1,000 or more per month should strongly consider having a click fraud solution in place from day one. After doing some homework and reaching out to some trusted online partners we've identified several solutions to avoid and will be sharing more information near the end of March on a solution that is saving some fortunate marketers thousands of dollars each month.
Fast forward to February 26th. We uncovered a click laundering network alive and active on Bing Ads / Yahoo. Unfortunately, most account reps have no idea what click laundering is. What is even more interesting is that click laundering first started making headlines back in 2006 and then Microsoft went on click laundering manhunt and filed lawsuits against several companies in 2010.
So here we are in 2014 and click fraud & click laundering are still rampant. Google, Bing, and Yahoo can barely make a dent in preventing it. I think they actually count on the average marketer not having the ability to monitor or track it on their own accord. If every online marketer used a 3rd party click fraud solution all the major search engines would be sending some major credits back to their pay per click customers.
Once I have a chance to compile all of the data, I'll be posting it here as a downloadable PDF with regard to the click laundering network we uncovered. Next, we'll be looking for a good click fraud attorney.
What has your experience been with click fraud with Adwords, Bing / Yahoo pay per click? Share your click fraud examples below and be sure to bookmark or return near the end of March for our follow up on this issue.