Polygraph explains how removing ad keywords can eliminate fake clicks


Polygraph, a cybersecurity firm helping advertisers prevent click fraud, explains how removing ad keywords from campaigns can eliminate the risk of fake clicks.

Click fraud is a scam which steals billions of dollars from advertisers every year. Criminals create websites, and monetize the content using adverts. To inflate earnings, and cheat the companies paying for the adverts, bots are used to generate thousands of fake clicks on the ads each day. For every ad click, the advertisers pay fees to the ad networks, and this money is then shared with the scammers.

Most click fraud targets high value ad keywords to maximize earnings for the scammers.

According to Trey Vanes, chief marketing officer at Polygraph, advertisers can block click fraud by removing high risk ad keywords from marketing campaigns.

“Click fraud isn’t random,” said Vanes. “The scammers ensure high value ads are displayed on their websites before generating fake clicks. They do this by redirecting their bots to search results for keywords which are known to trigger expensive ads. These search keywords are pre-selected by the scammers, and are hard-coded into their click fraud system. This means if your ad keywords are on their list, you’re going to get thousands of fake clicks every month.”

“Let’s say one of your ad keywords is ‘low cost laptop’,” continued Vanes, “and your ads are being shown on publisher websites. If criminals add ‘low cost laptop’ to the list of ad keywords they’re targeting, that means when their bots go to their scam websites, they’ll see search results for ‘low cost laptop’ and click on your advert. These clicks are worthless and eat away at your ad budget.”

Vanes says it’s a mistake to assume the advertising networks will protect your ads from bot clicks. “We’re finding more and more evidence that a major advertising network is doing little to no click fraud detection, either in real-time or retrospectively. What this means is you need to take action to protect yourself from click fraud. One of the ways to do this is to remove high risk ad keywords from your campaigns. This ensures bots won’t see your ads, as you’re no longer using keywords which are being targeted for fake clicks.

“Polygraph makes it easy to see which of your ad keywords are being targeted by criminals, and we also show you which scam websites are generating fake clicks on your ads. By removing at risk ad keywords and blocking click fraud websites, you can get your click fraud risk down to zero,” said Vanes.

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