It’s a common misconception that click fraud is under control – it’s not. Just last February, spider.io, a U.K. company that measures and categorizes every visit to a company’s Web content in real time, found that botnet code, dubbed Chameleon, costs display advertisers more than $6 million monthly (read the full report).
Additionally, Improvely (mentioned below), reports that 17-29 percent of clicks on paid ads are fraudulent. Even so, coming up with a list of six noteworthy click-fraud solutions, was easier said than done. In the mid-2000s (around the same time Google said it loses $1 billion a year to click fraud), dozens of tools were created, but a look around the Web shows clearly many of these operations have tapered off, if not closed altogether. One of the reasons is that many affiliate networks have built-in click fraud monitoring as do online advertising management platforms, so below you’ll find a mix of the latter and of pure-play click-fraud monitoring solutions, all of which are worthy of consideration.
**Improvely automatically detects, blocks and deters click fraud. Its monitoring system inspects the quality of every ad click, 24 hours a day. Whether it’s excessive non-converting clicks from specific countries, or a competitor clicking a company’s ads, Improvely can detect and notify its users of suspicious activity immediately. Last but not least, Improvely makes competitors and affiliates, who are clicking on a user’s ads to drain their budget, that the user is aware of their activity by sending suspicious clicks to a warning page instead of the user’s website. Improvely offers a free 14-day trial.
**Ad Watcher is a click-fraud management and ad tracking tools designed to detect suspicious activity and minimize click fraud, track ad performance and increase the ROI of advertising campaigns. Ad Watcher boasts an easy-to-use interface and offers a free 30-day trial.
**ClickReport allows its users to see who’s clicking on their PPC ads. Users will receive daily click reports documenting extensive PPC click activity and details such as date, time, IP address, location, keywords and more. Its four-tiered warning system is designed to prevent, warn and block users who either maliciously or absent mindedly clicked on paid advertisements multiple times. ClickReport also offers real-time alert notifications documenting suspicious or duplicate click activity. This company has a free 10-day trial.
**Conversion Ruler can help companies identify cases of fraud through its advanced tracking statistics. Additionally, it runs completely as a Web service (some knowledge of installing the code is needed) and its server architecture is stable and reliable, with its service provider guaranteeing 99.99% uptime. Additionally, Conversion Ruler offers a free 30-day trial.
**Marin Software is a highly regarded pay per click managing tool that has built-in click-fraud monitoring solutions. Overall, Marin Software helps online marketers analyze display ad performance, automate routine campaign workflows and optimize for financial lift. This online advertising management platform offers a free 21-day trial.
**Who’s Clicking Who? (Under construction) This independent auditing service is a tool developed solely to help identify abusers fraudulently clicking on pay-per-click listings. Its “ClickMinder” tool is designed to catch competitors who are clicking on a user’s PPC search engine ads. Users can also send reports to Google, Yahoo, Bing, MSN and other PPC search engines to request a refund for suspected click fraud abuse. What’s more, companies can receive email reports of previous days PPC clicks and find out exact keywords people are clicking on. Who’s Clicking Who has historically offered a free 30-day trial, but the company is currently making the transition to new management. The site encourages companies to check back soon, as its new software will be “faster than ever and offer a host new features.”
If you’re curious to see how much your company could be wasting on fraudulent clicks, check out this calculator.