Click spamming is a type of online fraud that occurs when spammers send large numbers of fake clicks to ads in order to generate revenue for the advertiser. This type of click fraud is a serious issue for online advertisers, as it can lead to wasted ad spend and decreased ROI.
How Click Spamming Works
Click spamming typically occurs when spammers use automated software to generate fake clicks on ads. These clicks can come from a variety of sources, including bots, infected computers, or even real people who have been paid to click on ads.
Types of Click Spamming
There are a few different types of click spamming, each with their own method of defrauding advertisers. Here are a few of the most common:
- Bots: Bots are automated software programs that can generate fake clicks on ads. These clicks typically come from a variety of sources, including infected computers or networks of computers that have been compromised by malware.
- Infected computers: Infected computers are those that have been infected with malware that allows spammers to generate fake clicks on ads. This type of click fraud is often difficult to detect, as the malware can be designed to mimic human behaviour.
- Paid clickers: Paid clickers are people who have been paid to click on ads. This type of click fraud is relatively easy to detect, as it often results in a high number of clicks coming from a single IP address.
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Who Commits Click Spamming?
There are a few different types of people or organisations who commit click fraud. Here are a few of the most common:
- Organised crime groups: These groups typically use sophisticated software to generate large numbers of fake clicks on ads. They are often difficult to detect, as they use a variety of techniques to hide their activities.
- Competitors: Competitors may attempt to defraud an advertiser by generating fake clicks on their ads in order to reduce their ROI. This type of click fraud can often go undetected, as it can be designed to mimic human behaviour.
- Malicious ad networks: Some malicious ad networks may use bots or other automated software to generate illegal clicks on ads in order to generate revenue for themselves. Essentially they’re charging advertisers for fake clicks as if they came from real humans. This type of click fraud is often difficult to detect, as the malicious behaviour is often hidden.
Who Is at Risk?
Anyone who uses online advertising is at risk of click fraud. However, there are a few groups who are more likely to be targeted by click fraudsters:
- Enterprise Brands: Enterprise-level advertisers are often targeted by click fraudsters as that’s where most of the money is. Lunio’s 2021 Global Click Fraud Report suggests the average enterprise loses up to $700k in ad spend each year due to things like click spamming.
- Small business: Small businesses may be targeted by click fraudsters because they usually have smaller budgets and may not have the resources to adequately protect themselves from fraudulent activity.
- Advertisers with high CPCs: Advertisers with high CPCs (cost-per-clicks) are often the target of click fraud, as fraudsters can generate a significant amount of revenue by defrauding these advertisers.
How to Identify Click Spamming on Your Website?
There are a few different ways to identify click spamming on your website. Here are a few of the most common:
- High number of clicks from a single IP address
- High number of invalid clicks
- Click patterns that deviate from normal behaviour
How to Protect Your Website from Click Spamming?
There are a few different ways to protect your website from click spamming. Here are a few of the most common:
- Use a reputable ad network: Use a reputable ad network that has strict policies in place to prevent click fraud.
- Monitor your website traffic: Monitor your website traffic closely for any signs of click fraud.
- Use a click fraud detection service: Use a click fraud detection service to identify and block fraudulent clicks.