Click bombing AdWords is a type of click fraud where a competitor repeatedly clicks on your ads to waste your budget and drive up your costs. It can be a serious problem for businesses, especially those with small budgets or who are targeting competitive keywords.
How click bombing AdWords works
Click bombers typically use automated scripts to click on your ads thousands of times per day. They may also use bots or hire people to click on your ads manually.
When someone clicks on your ad, you are charged a cost per click (CPC). The CPC can vary depending on the keyword you are targeting and the competitiveness of the market. If a competitor is click bombing your ads, you could be paying for thousands of clicks that never convert into customers.
The impact of click bombing AdWords
Click bombing can have a significant impact on your AdWords campaigns. It can:
- Waste your budget: Click bombing can quickly eat up your AdWords budget, especially if you are targeting competitive keywords.
- Drive up your costs: Click bombing can drive up your CPCs, making it more expensive to advertise on AdWords.
- Reduce your ad visibility: Click bombing can reduce your ad visibility because Google may stop showing your ads if they are being clicked on too often.
- Hurt your Quality Score: Click bombing can hurt your Quality Score, which can lead to higher CPCs and lower ad visibility.
How to protect yourself from click bombing AdWords
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from click bombing AdWords:
- Use IP exclusion lists: You can create an IP exclusion list to prevent clicks from certain IP addresses. This can be helpful if you know that a particular competitor is click bombing your ads.
- Use conversion tracking: Conversion tracking allows you to see which clicks are converting into customers. This can help you to identify invalid clicks and report them to Google.
- Set daily budget limits: Setting daily budget limits can help to prevent click bombers from spending all of your money in one day.
- Use click fraud detection services: There are a number of third-party click fraud detection services that can help you to identify and report invalid clicks.
What to do if you think you are being click bombed
If you think you are being click bombed, you should report it to Google immediately. Google has a team of experts who specialize in detecting and investigating click fraud.
To report click fraud, go to the Google Ads Help Center and search for “report click fraud.” You will need to provide some information about your AdWords account and the invalid clicks that you have noticed.
Google will investigate your report and take action against the click bombers if necessary.
Click bombing AdWords can be a serious problem for businesses, but there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself. By following the tips above, you can help to prevent click bombers from wasting your budget and driving up your costs.
Specific examples of businesses that have been affected by click bombing AdWords:
- In 2017, a small business owner in the UK had his AdWords account click bombed, costing him over £10,000. The attacker used a botnet to generate millions of fraudulent clicks on the business owner’s ads, which quickly drained his budget.
- In 2018, a major airline was click bombed by a competitor. The attacker created fake ads for the airline’s flights, which were then clicked on by bots. This resulted in the airline having to pay for thousands of clicks that did not lead to any actual bookings.
- In 2019, a political party in the US had its AdWords account click bombed during a major election campaign. The attacker used a variety of techniques to generate fraudulent clicks, including using bots and paying people to click on the party’s ads. This resulted in the party having to spend a significant amount of money on its AdWords campaign, even though many of the clicks were fake.
Click bombing can have a devastating impact on businesses of all sizes. It can waste advertising budgets, damage reputations, and even force businesses to close down.
Some additional tips on how to protect yourself from click bombing AdWords:
- Monitor your AdWords account regularly. Pay attention to any unusual spikes in clicks or costs. If you see anything suspicious, contact Google immediately.
- Use a click fraud detection service. This can help to identify and block fraudulent clicks before they waste your budget.
- Set daily and monthly budget limits. This will help to prevent your advertising budget from being drained by click bombing.
- Target your ads carefully. Avoid targeting broad keywords, as this is more likely to attract fraudulent clicks.
- Use negative keywords. Negative keywords allow you to exclude certain keywords from your campaigns. This can help to prevent your ads from showing for irrelevant searches, which are more likely to be clicked on by bots.
By following these tips, you can help to protect your AdWords account from click bombing and ensure that your advertising budget is being used effectively.