What if competitors click on your Google ads? 

Now whilst I am not a straight-up search marketing consultant, I do know the answer here because I looked into it! I was very curious as to if If you are running a PPC advert on Google, Click Fraud is a real risk. I hate to say, but it is true that competitors can click on your ads and each click will cost you money. Now and again, you could let it go. But there are stories of some people clicking in excess of 100 times a day, costing hundreds. So, what can you do? You can’t prevent it, but there are ways around it.

Google classifies these as ‘illegitimate’ so that includes unintentional clicks as well as clicks from bots or software.

The first step is to identify the problem. Head to your Google Ads account and you will see something like this. You’ll see at the far right some columns for invalids clicks.

If you don’t see these columns, don’t worry! The quickest way is to click the following sequence in Google Ads.

(Modify columns > Performance > Check the box > Save and Apply.)

Does Google charge for fraudulent clicks?

Google already detects many invalid clicks and will not charge your business account for any it already knows about. If you are worried a competitor is clicking your ads, you can do something about it. 

How to tell if a competitor is clicking on your Google ads

  1. One option is to speak to your site host or to take a look at the dashboard and see if the data shows excessive traffic from one or a few IPs – add it in later to your IP exclusions. You might also want to exclude your own IP – removing your own employees clicking on a link when they are looking for your site in order to find a web page can be expensive! To add these into a block list you go to your Settings in your Google Ads account > Campaign > Additional Campaign > IP Exclusions and add the details.
  2. You can also use a third-party tool to do the work for you.  There are plenty around, just Google it! A great one is Click Cease, which monitors your campaigns and blacklists IPS in your AdWords account so you can block an IP. They also place the refund claims so you can make money back on clicks that have happened. If you have started to pay a substantial amount from fraud this could be well worth looking at.

Can I make ads that competitors can’t click?

You can’t run and hide but you can be more targeted. You could use the Google Display Network so ads show in videos and on other sites, or you could do change how you use and bid for keywords. Try and use phrase match and exact keywords instead of broad match keywords and see if it improves.

You might also want to run campaigns on a CPM (cost per thousand) basis, so you aren’t charged per click, but instead per thousand overall impressions.

About Your Marketing Managed

My name is Elaine Keep and I am a Freelance Digital Marketing Consultant for YourMarketingManaged.com.

I offer Outsourced, Remote Support To Enhance Your Leads and Convert Sales!

Based in a leafy Sheffield suburb, we are known as the marketing agency in Sheffield that specialises in outsource, freelance digital marketing- however, we also offer our marketing services in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottingham, Midlands and across the North. That being said, many of our clients are in London, with a few even based globally, with headquarters in New Zealand and San Francisco!