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What Is Click Fraud Software and How Does It Work?

by Byrne Anderson
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The fight against click fraud is ongoing. Around the world, advertisers and publishers are constantly working as hard as they can to uncover click fraud and prevent it from happening in the future. One of the best tools in the fight against this crime is click fraud prevention software. It cannot win the war on its own, but it is a great weapon every advertiser and publisher should have in its arsenal.

In a nutshell, click fraud prevention software is software designed to monitor digital ads and analyze the traffic they generate for the purposes of detecting possible fraud. Fraud Blocker is one such software package. Its developers say that different software packages have unique ways of doing what they do. The best ones do it very well.

Click Fraud 101

If you are not familiar with click fraud, it’s a pretty simple concept. Someone perpetrating this crime is purposely clicking on digital ads without any intention to actually visit the associated website or buy the company’s products or services. Most click fraud perpetrators are simply trying to increase the revenues they earn as ad publishers. However, some click fraud schemes are aimed at harming the competition or getting revenge on a particular company.

How Click Fraud Software Works

Click fraud can be perpetrated by human beings or machines. When it is a human being, that person is sitting behind a computer and clicking on ads just as if they were a legitimate customer. When it is perpetrated by a machine, you are talking a computer utilizing software known as a click bot.

A click bot is little more than a piece of automated software that seeks out ads and clicks on them. A click bot can run automatically without anyone having to manipulate it. Worse yet, it can run perpetually.

Click fraud protection software takes advantage of the digital ‘paper trail’ left behind by fraudsters to detect fraud and prevent it from continuing. According to Fraud Blocker developers, sophisticated algorithms power the software. The algorithms take advantage of several things:

1. IP Addresses

All the traffic that and ad generates has and IP address attached to it. By tracking those IP addresses and the frequency with which they generate ad traffic, click fraud protection software can recognize large numbers of clicks, probably originating from the same computer, in a very short time span.

An excess of number of clicks from the same IP address is a big red flag. Some software packages automatically add suspect IP addresses to a list of addresses to block. Blocking prevents future clicks from that address.

2. Time Tracking

Legitimate website visitors genuinely interested in learning more about products and services spend at least some amount of time on the websites they visit. They do not arrive and then leave one second later. That being the case, click fraud protection software is often designed to track the amount of time visitors spend on the site. Visitors that arrive and immediately depart are probably not legitimate. They are almost certainly the result of click fraud.

3. Device and Cookie Tracking

Click fraud prevention software usually has the ability to track individual devices and cookie IDs. Both can be used to determine the legitimacy of inbound traffic. Any traffic deemed suspicious is flagged for the advertiser’s scrutiny.

Click fraud is a real crime that costs real money. Fortunately, it can be discovered and prevented with the right strategies, including deploying click fraud protection software. If your organization utilizes pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to any extent, you need click fraud protection software.

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