It’s an all too familiar image: affiliates running PPC campaigns find something is not quite right with their performance data, showing unexpected oddities and irregularities that slowly but surely drain their budget. The culprit is click-fraud, either carried out by publishers who use it to pump up their own ad revenues or by competitors who aim to deplete their rival’s advertising budget. These fraudulent clicks are performed manually by a person paid to click the ads or by the ever-present bots, automated software programmed to click these ads. In any case, being razor-sharp regarding click fraud detection is mandatory for every affiliate today, especially with all the fraud going around.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of click fraud detection software that will help you avoid the risk of being targeted by fraudsters. These third-party services cover almost every aspect of the pest while being increasingly wallet-friendly professional options which will significantly decrease click fraud for a nominal fee. Here are some of the best available, ranked by alphabetical order.
Our first entry, AdWatcher is a click fraud detection and monitoring tool, as well as PPC and ad tracking tool compatible with Google AdWords, Bing/Yahoo, online, email marketing, or anything else. The anti-fraud effort includes detecting potentially fraudulent activity coming from search engines and/or their partners, identifying and blocking suspicious IP addresses and low-quality referring domains, blocking it through proprietary Fraud Blocker solution, as well as discovering precisely which keywords attract the most invalid and poor-performing clicks. In addition, AdWatcher offers some ad campaign management goodies while being free to try out for the first 30 days.
One of the most popular names in the field, and rightfully so, ClickCease is a click fraud detection, prevention, and protection software that works for both Google and Bing platforms. The service blocks fraudulent IP's automatically by adding the IPs to the exclusion list. There are lots of other useful options such as 24\7 click fraud monitoring, customizable detection rules, detailed and comprehensive reports, and even an Adwords refund agent to file claim reports for you every two months.
ClickGuard boils down its offering to core elements, offering full protection control for specific campaigns, domains, URLs, ad groups, keywords, searches, device types and geographical locations. It does so by catching IP addresses and devices that are frequently clicking on user’s ads, as well as routinely engaging multiple targets with ad clicks. It works well to identify ad placements that generate suspiciously frequent visits during specified timespans. The service is also an unwanted click detection protection platform, meaning it prevents ads from being displayed to people who engage but never convert. On top of it all, there’s a neat option of a 7-day free trial to properly test the service.
Improvely is one of those all-in-one tools that gets a bit of everything done when it comes to online marketing campaigns. Apart from being one of the better conversion tracking tools, Improvely is also a robust click fraud detection software with its 24-hour monitoring system. Whenever click fraud is detected, the service sends a report with all the details you need (the IP addresses, locations, referring URLs and exact dates and times of every suspicious click recorded) to report the incident to the ad network, search engine, or the website you advertised on. There’s also a 14-day trial period where affiliates can get a taste of all Improvely has to offer for affiliates specifically.
Image credit: Improvely
Through PPC Protect, users get accurate 24/7 click fraud protection and real-time fraud prevention based on effective automatic IP blocking. You can tweak the service to a specific business niche or industry, including the option to protect multiple domains and allow access to multiple users which can be further customized. Apart from the clicks from PPC ads, PPC Protect also analyzes any visit to your website. And on top of everything, affiliates have a 30-day free trial at their disposal to see for themselves if the service suits them.
With automatic 24/7 monitoring and click fraud blocking for IP addresses, PPCSecure is yet another fine option for click fraud detection and prevention. The service examines your ad clicks (the IP address, browser type, OS, device, time and date, cookie ID, and more) before they are being forwarded to your landing page to decide if a click is invalid, and alerts you instantly when suspicious activity is detected. Users have the option to customize their settings for better control. A free trial is always a welcome sight, and PPCSecure offers a 14-day trial period to get to know all the ins and outs of its service.
White Diagnostic is a comprehensive tool, going beyond click fraud detection and prevention to provide necessary tools for managing your ad campaigns. You can implement them in mobile, desktop, display, and in-app environments and include goodies like domain analytics, tracking tag for monitoring conversion and the quality of traffic from third-party tag handoffs, ADManager for campaign operations on particular traffic sources, as well as lots of different integration possibilities and custom blacklists. Affiliates can use the free trial to gain full access to all the tools and a complete analysis of their traffic sources.
Prevention Before Detection
It sounds easier said than done, but the imminent truth is that before you do anything to detect and fight click fraud, you need to pick the best environment for your ads. That means conducting thorough research to choose the right traffic source with which you know you can trust your ads. That’s the cornerstone of your affiliate effort - a transparent traffic source that’s strict on fraud and well equipped to detect and fight it.
However, click fraud is increasingly present and sophisticated, so when push comes to shove, and you want to make absolutely sure that you are receiving the maximum ROI for every bit of your ad spend, click fraud detection software is the way to go. It offers 24/7 monitoring and automatic protection in most cases, holding down the fort while you’re not there (you can’t look manually forever, can you?). As long as you are fully aware of the lingering issue that is click fraud, 100% committed to keeping a watchful eye on your account, and are using the best practices and tactics to protect your affiliate campaigns, you’ll be fine. Anything less and it’s big trouble.