Did you know that there are bots out there, working 24/7, which exist solely to try and put you out of business? Some companies even go as far as to have people manually do this sort of dirty work. And, you can bet that some of your competitors are making good use of these resources, knowing that it’s possible you aren’t protected from this type of activity.
So, what exactly is it that these bots (and sometimes humans) are doing to your business? They are clicking on all of your pay-per-click (PPC) advertising across the web. All of that money that you are pouring into Google Ads, social media paid marketing, and other initiatives to bring customers in may just be draining itself into a deep black hole. Ultimately, resulting in zero customer growth and a massive advertising bill just some days after starting up your campaign.
If you’ve noticed this happening in your business and you are using PPC marketing initiatives, then it’s time to stop everything you are doing and focus on preventing this activity. Trust me; you will see the difference in your bottom line!
As the PPC industry continues to rise, so does the issue of click fraud. It has become a significant concern in marketing and advertisement as it’s causing the return on investment (ROI) to decrease significantly for many companies who are falling victim to this underhanded tactic.
The result: the loss of hundreds – sometimes thousands – of advertising dollars. A big deal for small and medium-sized companies. Unsurprisingly, this leads many businesses and would-be advertisers to make the assumption that digital advertising is just not sustainable for them and miss out on a wealth of opportunities. All because they didn’t have an form of PPC protection in place.
Luckily, several excellent products on the market can help detect click frauds in their early stages—allowing companies the opportunity to put a stop to it before it has a dramatic impact on their bottom line. So, if you have a company and want to ensure that your marketing money isn’t getting eaten up by fraudsters, we’ve got a list of some of the solutions there right now!
Top Click Fraud Prevention Software
#1 PPC Protect
PPC Protect makes the top of our list for the sole reason that it is simply the best on the market. This software works in real-time to protect your online advertising initiatives from falling victim to click fraud. PPC Protect uses a self-learning AI algorithm to block IP addresses and devices from which fraudulent activity or bot clicks are detected. And, its real-time guarantee will track the behavior and frequency of clicks to expose and block any attempts as soon as they are detected. They combine this with an automatic block of their already extensive database of known fraudsters for unmatched fraud protection.
Pricing is based on protection values and can range from protection for ad spends of $2,500 per month up to $1M+ per month. It also includes incredibly comprehensive, and outgoing customer service policy and their support team is not only incredibly responsive but is also very hands-on with the product, meaning you can get all the help you’ll need to totally safeguard your advertising whether or not you have an IT team behind the scenes.
PPC Protect requires no physical installation (as it integrates with your advertising accounts) and provides customers with click monitoring that is discreet and has zero impact on user experience. Customers can have it up and running through a copy and paste setup and have their ads protected by an unlimited number of clicks once it’s active. This unlimited click protection is a stand-out in the industry as it bypasses the usual Google Ad 500 IP blacklist limit.
And, in case you happen to have ultra-savvy fraudsters on your case, PPC Protect will continue to block under device ID tracking, should they switch their activities within the same IP address. For all of these reasons, this is our top pick when it comes to total fraud protection, to ensure that you don’t suffer huge ROI losses.
While this is a great program, it placed at number two for a reason. It provides comparable quality and features to PPC Protect but comes at a premium price. For comparison, the starting price for ClickGUARD is $47/mo; PPC Protect offers a comparable product at $29/mo, providing customers around 30% in savings.
ClickGUARD promises to protect AdWords accounts from unwanted invalid clicks, giving control of traffic back to the advertisers. ClickGUARD is known for having an intuitive dashboard and is an excellent basic option when it comes to fraud protection for those looking to minimize fraudulent clicks happening on their campaigns.
#3 Clixtell Click Fraud Prevention
Clixtell is another software out there that offers 24/7 protection from click fraud activity. They use their algorithm to provide monitoring of any suspicious activity happening to your ads as part of an effort to prevent click fraud. If their software detects anything suspicious like invalid clicks, it will instantly block the IP from seeing your ads, minimizing any damage and potential money lost on the PPC activity.
Clixtell was designed to monitor any and all invalid clicks, VPNs, and proxies. It’s a great solution for people who aren’t tech-savvy, as the setup to get started with basic fraud detection is simple, and once it’s up and running, it’s very straightforward to monitor. In terms of pricing, this one comes in with click fraud protection plans starting at $40/month.
With over 8,000 clients and hundreds of millions of blocked clicks, this is a software that has proven results for its customers. AdTector uses a machine-learning algorithm that adapts to fraudulent activity, making it more effective every day. They are responsible for the monitoring of trillions of actions taken every year, so they will monitor your ad activity 24/7 with ease. And if you want something comprehensive and well-rounded in an effort to prevent click fraud, this software is a great choice.
Like their competitors, AdTector uses a unique algorithm to prevent click fraud, instantly blocking any IP that suspicious activity originates from as soon as it is identified for a solid level of click fraud protection. Their brand promise is that clients should and will only be paying for legitimate customer clicks with their software installed.
Additionally, AdTector will take care of reimbursement submissions to Google once any click fraud is detected. Google has a policy in place that allows customers to get refunds on fraudulent clicks. However, if you can’t produce sufficient proof of the activity, then they often reject the claims. AdTector is well-versed in what Google needs to process these refunds and will automatically fill out and send Google the invalid click claims, saving you the time and effort of the added process.
Their value prop: “Hire us, we will save you more money than our service costs.” They offer a free 14-day trial and don’t require a contract once you subscribe. And, while it’s a great product, the price reflects that. Their Basic plan starts at $97/mo, a Pro version running at $247/mo, and an Enterprise plan at $447/mo, making them the priciest option on our list so far.
Their website indicates that 40% of internet traffic is non-human. This means that bots are at work 24/7 dedicated solely to draining your marketing budget by decreasing your rankings and minimizing your visibility to actual potential customers. Bots aren’t the only problem though—click farms, and your competitors are coming after your business. All of them know about and are using the software that prevents you from doing the same to them.
ClickCease is an industry leader in click fraud prevention software. They are currently protecting over 2,000,000 campaigns worldwide and ensure their customers they will only be paying for quality leads by using their software.
Additional features of ClickCease include intel on keyword bids from your competitors, reporting to understand conversion rates, customized features tailored to your industry, and actionable reporting on all of your automated lead generation activity happening online.
They use the same model as the other programs listed above: monitor, detect, block. ClickCease also runs an additional free feature on their homepage that allows you to manually run a check on any IP address to determine if it is fraudulent or not.
Again, the pricing on ClickCease will add to your marketing budget but save you money in the long run. Their Standard plan is $50/mo; Pro $75/mo; and Enterprise is $300/mo, landing it somewhere in the middle in terms of pricing when compared to their competitors.
Did you know that click fraud has cost companies 9.5 billion dollars? And that number keeps growing every year. As PPC adds become more and more popular, this activity is being utilized—not just by bots and competitors, but also by your brand haters. Imagine you make a small error with a customer, and they know about this tactic. Well, if they are spiteful enough, they may just spend their next few weekends clicking through every ad that they see on their web browser, burning through your marketing budget, and crippling your ability to gain new customers to make up the difference.
ADWARY has seen everything in click fraud, and they guarantee top-notch monitoring to save you from it. They monitor and block the 72% of ads being affected by click fraud, saving their customers hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars every month. All while ensuring that their ads are being clicked on by legitimate prospects.
They have a real-time dashboard for an at-a-glance look of all of your activity and alerts when suspicious activity has been detected.
ADWARY is the only one on this list that offers a permanently free plan, which doesn’t provide automatic blocking. It is primarily there as a great tool to see how much fraudulent activity customers would be potentially protecting themselves against by using their service. For paid plans, ADWARY is reasonably priced at £19/mo (around $25 USD) for small businesses, increasing to £149 (around $195 USD) for Enterprise packages.
TrafficGuard is unique in that it offers fraud prevention at three levels: impressions, clicks, and events. This means their monitoring capabilities start as early in the process as initial ad impressions. So, when potential click-happy competitors or bots are on the horizon, TrafficGuard is on watch to sometimes even prevent the clicks before they begin. This saves their customers time, effort, and money and provides them with healthy and accurate reporting on their potential prospect funnel.
Also, based on a machine-learning foundation, TrafficGuard is continually growing its detection capabilities. New types of click fraud are showing up every day, and TrafficGuard’s sophisticated algorithms are designed to detect these new tactics and stop them in their tracks—protecting their customers from falling victim.
TrafficGuard offers a 30-day trial if you want to give it a shot (most competitors only provide 14-day trials, if any). If you like the product and want to keep it running, then plans start at $45.80/mo.
ClickReport is another option that offers a free monitoring service. That’s right; free! However, like their competitors who provide a similar offer, their free service does not include automatic blocking. ClickReport has all of the bells and whistles that most of their competitors offer: monitoring, reduction in click fraud, detection of IP addresses associated with suspicious activity, etc.
They also offer reporting as part of their service, which helps you monitor your ad activity and all associated fraudulent activity. The pricing is not listed publicly by the vendor, so to find a plan that’s right for you, you will need to reach out to one of their consultants.
What Makes A Great PPC Fraud Prevention Software?
Just as PPC advertising continues to boom, so do the options for click fraud prevention. Some of the ones we’ve shown you make a number of lists as industry leaders, but new software offerings are hitting the market every day.
So, if you want to continue your search for the click fraud software that is right for your company, here are few tips features to keep your eye out for:
- Monitoring – Good click fraud prevention software will provide 24/7 monitoring and be proactive in monitoring new types of fraudulent activity, as new kinds of activity hit the internet on a daily basis. Ideally, a good monitoring system will also provide you with alerts so you can be on top of what’s happening with your ads as well.
- Automatic Blocking – The most sophisticated software out there will have a database that includes all suspicious click activity that they’ve detected with other customers. The IPs in this database should automatically be unable to access your company’s ad campaigns when running the click fraud prevention software. On top of the first feature, the best fraud detection software should automate the blocking process whenever it detects suspicious activity. You shouldn’t have to do any of this manually.
- Continually Evolving – The best click fraud software out there is evolving as quickly as the tech that the fraudsters are using. And, for those of you in highly competitive industries, trust me, your competition is always finding new ways to quash your business and increase theirs. So, you’ll want to keep your eye out for a product that uses advanced AI or machine learning to continuously be on the look-out for new approaches to click fraud. This will ensure that you stay protected from even the most advanced tactics out there.
- Trial Plan – Ideally, any software that wants to bring you on as a customer will offer you some sort of demo or trial of their product. This will allow you to install and run it to see if it suits your company’s needs. Also, every user has their preference when it comes to experience, so finding an interface that is easy for you will give you peace of mind when it comes to understanding the activity reports.
If you are DIY-savvy and want to take on click fraud yourself (which we highly discourage as time is money and this require a lot of the former), you will want to collect the following while monitoring your traffic:
- IP Address
- Click timestamp
- Action timestamp
- User Agent
Finally, your competitors may not be savvy to this new trend that is impacting every industry which markets their product or service online, but now you are. Click fraud is very real! If you currently have ads running and you aren’t doing something about it right now, then we can guarantee that you are losing money as you read this. We encourage you to get out there and be proactive.
Make sure that you spend your marketing dollars getting your ads in front of real-life prospects instead of bots and vengeful competitors. Click fraud software is your key to making the most of your advertising spend and keeping your sales funnel in a high-quality, clean, and bountiful state.