Most people are well aware of just how common data breaches and computer hacking has become for companies. It seems like every few weeks you hear about a new case of a company being hacked and having all their personal and customer data stolen.
Companies are starting to realise the only solution is to implement a robust security plan that takes hackers very seriously. But computer hackers aren’t the only digital risk companies are facing.
There is another trend that is growing at the moment, and that is click fraud. In fact, the click fraud industry is expected to grow to a whopping $7.2 billion in 2020 alone. But what is click fraud, and how will it reach such a staggering total this year? Those are the questions every business owner should be asking.
Click Fraud Targets PPC Campaigns
As more and more companies begin to place emphasis on their digital offerings, they turn to PPC campaigns – which are pay-per-click campaigns. This is a marketing technique that has the advertiser paying a fee each time a person clicks on one of the ads or the links. This method allows businesses to use really targeted campaigns and it charges less for ad clicks. So, on paper, this looks like a great plan.
But this is where things start to get tricky, as PPC campaigns are exactly what click fraud is targeting. Fraudsters have essentially created what is being called a “zombie squad of bots”, as well as bot farms, that have the sole job of clicking on these ads and links. Because these aren’t real people, the companies aren’t getting any benefit out of it, yet they are paying for that click. The ROI on your marketing budget becomes zero, and the campaign fails to be successful.
This is where the number comes from, as experts predict that $7.2 billion will be lost by the advertising industry in 2020. What’s more alarming is that this number is growing, not shrinking.
What Are These “Bots”?
What are these bots? No, they aren’t actual robots sitting there clicking on computer screens; rather they are software applications that have been designed to operate automated scripts online. Here’s a statistic that may come as a shock to many – did you know that bots actually make up more than half of the web traffic out there? There’s a simple reason for it – they can perform simple tasks much faster and more accurately than a human.
What Can You Do About It?
As a business owner, the first question you probably have is “what can I do to prevent these bots from ruining my PPC campaign”? You can read more here about click fraud from ClickGUARD which provides a number of ways you can actually combat fraudulent clicks. There are a number of steps you can take, and as ClickGUARD stresses, it is an ever-evolving issue to stay on top of. ClickGUARD works to eliminate ad traffic that is wasteful and make sure that businesses don’t have to just accept click fraud.
It’s all about taking back your business, your advertising campaigns, and making sure all your efforts are successful.