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Google Adsense Click Fraud Complete Guide

What Is Click Fraud?
Click fraud is an illegal practise through which false clicks on PPC advertisements are generated, with the purpose of swerving advertising data, with no possibility whatsoever for a conversion to occur. That is, purely stealing from advertisers who pay for each click.
Fraudulent clicks are also referred to as “invalid”, “malicious” or “artificial”.
Click fraud results in great costs for the advertiser and it is so much more frightening as it is difficult to track down.

Why Does It Occur?
The main trigger-reasons are:
The intention to obstruct or cause important losses to a competitor's business — when competitors intent to run up a bill for an advertiser;
The intention to make money by forcing the advertising system — when CPC affiliates intent to increase per-click commissions on the traffic they generate for the ads. Some web owners even create websites especially for this purpose and then artificially inflate their CTR.
Extortion — when hackers create software that perform fraudulent clicks and use it to threaten various companies in order to obtain money;
Vengeance — when it is done by former or discontent employees.

How Is It Done?
Manually generated clicks
A widely spread practise particularly in some regions of Europe, Oceania or South East Asia — but not only here — where surfers are paid to click on paid-ads on their employer’s websites or on his competitors' sites. This system of fraud is almost impossible to identify, if done properly.
Automated methods
Software applications or “hitbots”, designed to click on paid ads. Some of these use clever algorithms to determine click behaviours, reaching the performance level of simulating genuine human visitor behavior. What makes them even harder to detect is their capability of destroying all identifying reference.

What Is Going on in Advertising Related to Click Fraud?
Webmasters and advertisers have also become more knowledgeable of the methods used in click fraud and have come to easily detect simple fraudulent click activity. With the growing tendency of fraud, there is also a growing number of forensic click-analysts and a developing industry that works at detecting it, finding ways to combat it and help clients seek refunds.

Although as old as Internet advertising, the issue has been given a “silent treatment” and has only recently become more openly discussed and been granted more attention. This happened probably because of the complexity of the problem and because nobody wanted to point out loudly that there is no sure antidot, although everybody knew it.

And there is another theory as well, according to which there has been no real interest from the part of the major search networks that participate in the system, for this puts them at a loss: on one hand, admitting it means making refunds to advertisers, on the other hand fighting it means significantly reducing their gains also.

As fraud costs advertisers more and more, the problem has increased in acuity more and more and the big players just have to do something to defend their clients and keep them satisfied with the results they get from advertising programs, as they are the revenue source for many.
Well, in our case...

...What Does Google™ Do About It?
Google™ was interested and has become even more interested in defending advertisers since its public offering, for their AdWords™ program is reportedly generating around 95% of its revenue.The truth is that the battle is still mostly led privately. One just has to keep monitoring the way his or her advertising activity performs. This constitutes an inconvenient for many advertisers as well as for publishers, who think their job would be to ensure quality content for their sites and not waste time sniffing around and keeping caution on the stats, thinking it's
Google™'s job to ensure click safety.They have taken steps in the direction of protecting advertisers(Probably only publishers), it has a quite complex monitoring system (analyzing a multitude of parameters beyond CTR) that uses both engineering systems and human analysis and they said they will continuous upgrading their detection mechanisms to combat fraudulent activity.(monitoring system that no prove that it's good monitoring system).

Once an invalid activity tracked, Google™'s position is as follows:
Advertisers are not charged for clicks or impressions that were identified as fraudulent. Or refunds are made if the case.
Publishers are not judged starting from the assumption of innocence and are severely penalized without much debate: AdSense™ account dismantled. They give no guarantee for the possibility of account reinstatement although they state their opening for discussion, considering the possibility of sabotage.

Publishers Are Click Fraud Victims Too ...
The problem is generally dealt with from the advertiser's point of view, the prejudiced part. The publisher is mostly seen as “the bad guy”, the perpetrator. This perspective is not entirely out of place, as the first who could be interested in such activity would be a website owner, trying to artificially generate more clicks and thus earn more money.
Of course we do not allege that all publishers are “snow-white”. Yes, there are dishonest publishers who actually set up scam sites for the purpose of hosting AdSense™ ads and thus putting up schemes to generate as many clicks as possible.
Still, many AdSense™ publishers happen to fall victims of click fraud. Most of us are just as frightened as the advertisers to become so, for click fraud is the primary reason (and the most serious one) for Google™ to disable AdSense™ accounts. And, while advertisers are usually refunded in such cases, AdSense™ publishers are banned without possibility of account reinstatement.

What Actions Can Be Interpreted as Click Fraud?
The first sign that could be read as suspect would be an abnormal rise in CTR in a very short period of time — on one day for example.
A grave mistake would be for the webmaster to intentionally click on his own site ads. For, if it happens by accident, it might not have serious consequences, as suspect sites are apparently placed on watch before being penalized, to see if the action happens again.
Also, incentives to click (even in a vested manner, or not directly on your own site, discussions in message boards etc), are penalized as sterile clicks inducers.
Including ads on registration or error pages may be considered as click fraud generator (as, being on such a page, the user would have no other choice than to click on your ads).

How to Deal with Click Fraud
Click fraud causes the most severe penalty — account banning. Publishers should be on the watch, for they are unprotected against it. Even if not guilty, publishers get penalized as they have the duty to take their measures against this and monitor closely the activity in their AdSense™ accounts.At present, click fraud is the most dreaded and the most spread plague in Internet advertising. You cannot cancel click fraud, it's not up to you to prevent it from happening. But you can control its consequences. Being aware of its existence is essential but it's not enough, the key-solution is constant monitoring: you just have to be on the watch of your own web advertising activity, either you are an advertiser or a publisher.Well, let's see what this is all about more in detail, to know what to protect from.


How to appeal your Google AdSense Account after Disabled.

Disclaimer: AdWords™, AdSense™ and Google™ are trademarks of Google Inc.

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