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2 min read

What Are the Different Types of PPC Fraud?

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PPC, also called pay-per-click, advertising can be one of the most impactful methods of marketing online today. With spending on PPC search ad spending projected to reach $191 billion by 2024 (Statista), it’s clear many companies agree. But, the size of this market has created a massive incentive for fraudsters with technical know-how to cheat the system. In fact, PPC fraud is responsible for nearly 60% of the $100 billion cost of ad fraud projected for 2023. Preventing ad fraud in your campaigns comes down to knowing the different types of PPC fraud to look for. We will cover these along with solutions that can help in this article.

The Most Common Types of PPC Fraud

Fighting PPC fraud starts with knowing the ways it works. The tough part about preventing this type of fraud is that numerous methods can be used by fraudsters to carry out their misdeeds. Here are three of the most common types of PPC fraud to watch out for.


Bots have been one of the leading problems facing online advertisers for a long time now. Despite the best efforts of many PPC fraud solution companies, advances in technology have made it possible for bots to persist. That’s because advanced bots can be custom-tailored to behave like humans, evading detection by many fraud solutions.

Bots can also be programmed to click on links that result in the advertiser having to pay. So, the publisher earns money, but the advertiser gets stuck paying for a fake click. Because bots can run continuously around the clock, they can quickly drain ad campaign budgets.

Click Farms

Click farms work by employing workers around the globe to visit sites and click on ads that generate profit. Sometimes they even watch videos, submit leads, or purchase products. Advertisers lose out on value in many ways, from ad spend to the labor costs of chasing down fake leads. Because real human visitors are used in this method, it’s incredibly tough to catch. Most click farm traffic easily passes by bot detection software as a result.

Domain Spoofing

Domain spoofing is yet another way fraudsters commit click fraud. This method works by creating lookalike websites with closely matching domain names. These copycat websites are filled with digital ads that are designed to trick real visitors into clicking on ads that earn fraudsters revenue. These real visitors believe they’re clicking ads to a legitimate site, but end up somewhere else. Sometimes fraudsters take it a step farther and even steal credit card information from visitors via fake transactions.

How Does PPC Fraud Impact Companies?

PPC advertising success hinges on efficiency, so fraud in this area can be detrimental to companies. PPC campaign budgets often rapidly run out when struck by this type of fraud. It also becomes much harder to plan new campaigns, as the data from previous campaigns will be totally inaccurate. Further, the ROI of existing PPC ads decreases exponentially when fraudulent clicks flood in. Undoubtedly, it’s crucial to prevent PPC fraud in order to remain competitive. So what can be done?

Entrepreneurs and Marketers Need Certified Solutions

PPC fraud can be prevented with the help of an anti-fraud solution. But, not all solutions work the same way. Watch out for small-tiered companies that bank on customers being in the dark about how PPC fraud detection works. Many of these companies put more effort into sales pitches than actually solving the issue. One way to tell if you’re working with a quality solution is whether it’s been certified.

Certified solutions are audited to ensure compliance with best practices of true ad fraud detection and prevention. More than 75 companies claim to help with ad fraud detection, but there are only 8 certified solutions in this market. Anura is one of them. Our powerful solution fights PPC fraud in real time by analyzing data provided through machine learning. The result is superior click fraud prevention with vastly fewer false positives. Discover for yourself by starting a free trial today.

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