Google AdWords Click Fraud

Google AdWords click fraud is something which pretty much every ppc advertiser suffers from. Google terms this as ‘invalid click’ and has very strong fraud prevention systems & processes in place.

If you find that you are getting suspicious clicks on your ads, then you ought to get in touch with the Google support team and they will look into the matter. You can also exclude those placements on the Google Display Network or put a frequency capping in place. Google does and wants to protect all advertisers from click fraud or invalid clicks.

What Is Google AdWords Click Fraud?

Click fraud is a black hat technique which inflates the number of clicks on your AdWords ads. It is done by rogue publishers to generate income for themselves and also to sabotage their competitors AdWords campaign[s] by using up their daily budgets with fraudulent clicks.

Google AdWords Click Fraud

How Do You Identify Google AdWords Click Fraud?

You can identify fraudulent clicks in your Google AdWords interface under the reporting section:

  • IP address
  • Click timestamp
  • Action timestamp


Once you see a lot of suspicious clicks from a particular site[s], you can check the IP address from What Is My IP and report to Google as soon as possible using the AdWords telephone number in your account. Exclude that IP in your AdWords account.




Video Script

Hello, if you’re running any kind of pay-per-click advertising on Google AdWords or any other channel, then click fraud is a big issue for every business. So in this video, I’m going to talk about how you can reduce the risk of click fraud so that you get a higher return on investment for your AdWords campaigns.

Hello, I’m Uzair and thanks for joining in. If you enjoy videos like this one, please don’t forget to subscribe to the channel and you’ll be the first one to be notified when I upload similar videos like this one. So let’s get started and talk about click fraud. It is an issue. Every account, suffers from it. No matter what Google, Bing, Facebook or any other pay-per-click advertising company does. It’s a fact of life. So what can you do to prevent it? I don’t think anybody can prevent click frauds, but what can you do to eliminate a certain percentage of the risk, or what are the options available for you to reduce this click fraud. So Google, what they classify click fraud is called invalid clicks. So clicks on ads that Google considers to be illegitimate, suggest unintentional clicks, or clicks resulting from malicious software or bots. So this is going to happen. This is going to happen in a real account. So first you need to identify this problem. So how do you see this or find this? So let’s go into an AdWords account and you can see I’ve got these three columns over here, which are called invalid clicks, invalid interaction rate and invalid click rate.

If you hover the mouse on them, each explanation will be defined and you can read about it. If you don’t see these three columns, all you need to do is to go into modify columns, go into performance,

and you see if they are unchecked, then all you do is check them in and they will be added to your column list over here. And then you can save the column list and apply and you’ll be able to see it. So we can see that Google has already detected quite a few, invalid clicks on this account. So these are not charged to the business account or the account owners, they won’t be charged, Google has already classified them as invalid clicks. So what can you do to reduce this? The first thing you can do is to keep your campaign structure very tight. By that I mean I’m trying to avoid broad match keywords where your ads will be shown for irrelevant search terms which somebody’s searching for. So I would recommend using phrase match, broad modified and exact, to start with. That will reduce quite a bit. The other way you can reduce it or cut it down, is by going to your settings and go to your campaign

and additional campaigns. You can see over here IP exclusions. So you can have a list of exclusions over here, and over there your ads won’t be shown. So if you see from your data, from your website hosting that there’s a lot of irregular traffic or activities from certain IP addresses, then you can include it over here. If you are running a big company or in charge of AdWords for a multinational or a company which has got hundreds, if not thousands of people, then I would also recommend you exclude your IP address over here, because then by accident your employees, can’t click on it. Obviously, that does not classify as click fraud, but your CTR won’t be affected and you won’t get any unintentional clicks. So you can exclude IP addresses, locations. There’s also third party software which will help you detect and reduce click fraud.

Another way where you can reduce the risk of click fraud on the search network is to advertise on other networks like the Google Display Network on YouTube as video ads, gmail ads. Although there is click frauds on the GDN as well. But what I found is if I were to run campaigns on a cost per thousand basis, which is CPM, then my risk reduces quite a bit. So no matter how many fraudulent clicks I get, I won’t be charged per click, because we are not bidding by per click, we are bidding per thousand impressions and CPM bidding works really well for us and our clients, if it’s for a localized campaign. So for a local campaign around five or 10 mile radius, because I can get a lot of eyeballs on the brand and from the branding point of view it is really good. So obviously we’re going on a different tangent now away from a CPM bidding, you can come today if you feel that you are getting a lot of click frauds.

Google has got a very sophisticated system in place for detecting these click frauds, but no matter how sophisticated or brilliant it is, there will always be click frauds, which will happen. So one thing I do believe in is karma, what goes around comes around. So if you are clicking on your competitor’s ads, don’t do it because it’s not nice and you wouldn’t like it if they do the same to you. So that’s it for this video. If you have suffered from click fraud, let me know your experience in the comment box below. Take care. Bye for now.

Want to learn how to set up a Google AdWords Campaign? Here’s a full tutorial.

About Uzair Kharawala
Uzair Kharawala is the Co-Founder at SF Digital. He is a Certified Google Partner, is a Cricket fanatic and loves Photography.
Connect with him on

Get The Latest Blog Posts In Your Inbox

Never miss a blog post! Enter your email below and be the first to be notified of any
new blog posts we put up.