Are your Google Ads clicks real visitors?

Collection agency in Google Ads clicked away!

Since six months we have been working for a collection agency from the Rotterdam area. They have indicated that they do not want to be named further in this article because they do not want to make the competitor any wiser at this time. For the sake of convenience, we refer to them as “Flower” collection agency in this article.

Every year there are certain periods when Flower wants to be extra visible in Google. During these periods, the Google Ads budget increases and additional campaigns become active to maximize visibility in Google. Targeting is at various levels, including geographically at the rural, urban and zip code level with both Search and Display ad campaigns.

How to spot fake clicks

After launching the additional Google Ads campaigns for Bloem, things went well in the first few days, the collections came in and the inside sales team was able to get to work. In a short moment, the bounce rate suddenly spiked to a high level and collections declined.

We knew something was well wrong in the campaign, but could not immediately put our finger on it. So did we target the wrong keywords after all? Wasn’t the landing page as good as we thought after all?

After a brief moment of analysis, testing an A, B and C version of the website and a heatmap, we knew we detected the problem. The clicks on the Google Ads ads were not real, but from competitors either malicious or bots.

But how is this actually possible? Doesn’t Google automatically block these clicks?

Google says the following about this:

  • Every click on a Google Ads ad is examined by our system. Google has sophisticated systems in place to detect and remove invalid clicks and impressions from your account data.
  • When Google determines that certain clicks are invalid, we try to automatically filter them out of your reports and payments so that you are not billed for those clicks. If we find invalid clicks that were not automatically detected, you may receive a credit for these clicks. These credits are called corrections for “invalid activity.

So, unfortunately, the above statement is not entirely watertight. We now manage dozens of Google Ads accounts and we rarely receive a credit due to “invalid activity. Moreover, the “invalid clicks” really came through in the Google Ads campaigns for Flower anyway.

Solution: The Google Ads firewall

For Bloem, we set up a Google Ads firewall and the problem is now solved and the requests are pouring in. Then, of course, we immediately started analyzing other clients’ Google Ads traffic. What turns out? It is a problem in several industries, so our advice is: be alert!

Are your business also getting few inquiries after launching a Google Ads campaign? And do you want to make sure that the competition or malcontents don’t bother you? Then let us investigate your campaigns.

If it turns out that fake clicks are happening to you as well, we can install our firewall to block these clicks. With this firewall, we block all irrelevant traffic. Traffic is filtered for at least the following characteristics:

  • VPN traffic blocking
  • Maximum 1-3 clicks per day per IP address
  • Blacklisted IP addresses are automatically excluded for all our customers

With the right knowledge of Google Ads and the target audience, success is possible. We will be happy to show you where the possibilities lie.