search engine marketing is subject to digital fraud even if it is important to business

The Growth Of Online & Digital Fraud in 2020

With the impact of the coronavirus shut downs being felt around the world, more and more business, including in the Westcounty, have been looking at their online presence. But this online growth seems to have also fuelled another kind of problem, that of digital fraud.

A report from ClickCease, one of the biggest anti click fraud software companies, found that 2020 has been a peak year for digital fraud.

They define click fraud as the act of clicking on paid links online without the potential to make a sale. Basically, this means that for any business using a promotional tool like Google Ads or Facebook Ads, there are a high volume of non-genuine clicks that effectively steal your ad budget.

Their data shows that in 2020 alone:

  • $35 billion has been lost to fake clicks on paid ads online
  • There have been a number of organised botnets (networks of automated bots) that have been stealing marketing revenue from ads throughout 2020. This includes 404 Bot and Tekya/Haken.
  • A court case by Californian resident Gurminder Singh against Google has restarted, with his claims that the search giant don’t do enough to stop fraud online.

This is obviously a cause for concern for anyone advertising online. And, here in the Westcountry, relying on digital advertising to reach the global community is an important factor for successful business.

This exposure to digital fraud is of course not a reason to stop advertising online. But, it might be a wake up call to any business running pay per click marketing to look at their analytics.

Click fraud expert Dr Augustine Fou also points out that knowing where traffic on your paid ads is coming from is a major headache. Just because you’re targeting a specific geographic area doesn’t necessarily mean that’s where your web traffic is coming from.

In short, be aware of the dangers of digital fraud online to protect your business from being exposed to it.

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