Left Bay’s Musings on the Media

Searching for answers in sales and marketing

What’s up with click fraud?

Is click fraud for real? We do search marketing for clients on Google and Yahoo and we’re constantly frustrated by the differences in what the search engines count as a click, and what a third-party software program like ConversionRuler counts. They’re NEVER the same. Usually, CR will be a little higher, which makes sense if Google/Yahoo are filtering “invalid” clicks. There’s a report you can run in Google Analytics to see how many of these “invalid” clicks Google identified and did not charge you for. They do not count these clicks among your overall clicks. Yet, do those clicks still go through to your site?

In other words, if Google sends me 1000 clicks per day, and in a separate report shows me that it did not charge me for another 50, should I see 1000 or 1050 clicks on my CR web logs? Or more confusing yet, will it be something in-between?  

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1 Comment»

  Jackie wrote @

As you know, my frustration with click reporting discrepancies has been long unresolved, but I think I have an answer to your question. It would seem that any third-party tracking service would underreport clicks from Google because they’re tracking from the landing end of it, versus Google, which tracks from the click. People may opt out in the time between the click and the landing and never make it to the page for the third party to track.

So, if you’re seeing MORE clicks from CR, then the invalid clicks most likely do make it to your site.


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