Quality score in one of the most talked about topic since the advent of Quality Score. Some experts believe it is the king of KPI’s, others however, advocate they don’t consider the quality score as a KPI. In this blog, I will account for the stark contrast responsible for these perspectives along with my opinion, cover and uncover everything of everything about quality score.
Quality score is a decisive factor for the price of a click on an ad. But how great is the influence? Is it worth the targeted optimization? And if it is worth the optimization then which all methods have the greatest impact? I have experienced these issues on the ground.
When was the last time you could exactly define how different channels of digital marketing interacted and overlapped on the path to conversion.
I’ll give you a minute. In all seriousness, think about it.
While you’re thinking about it, I’ve one more question for you.
Which marketing channel has the maximum impact on the path to conversion and what is the true contribution of each of these channels?
Not too straightforward, is it? .
While you’re under the impression that even a single click could cost you a sale no matter how early on it occurs in the customer journey, every touch point is unequal though they’re all influencers in some way.
There are many extremely competitive niches in Adwords such as properties, vehicles or loans businesses where the competition is so fierce and unfair that
the competitors usually conduct a search with the most expensive
keyword in the morning while having breakfast and then click on all
links owned by the competition before going to work. They repeat this at
midday and at night to not loose the habit. What do you think?
is also common that many companies in these sectors depend completely
on Adwords for customer acquisition, to the extent that the possibility
of continuing to invest a day on Adwords depends on customers who have
achieved the previous day. Thus the situation can sometimes be dramatic
and fraudulent clicks is a nightmare that is difficult to combat for many advertisers.
But, first things first, what are fraudulent clicks?
To be very clear this is a person
or automated system that clicks on Google Adwords ads in order to
consume the budget preventing a third party to achieve the desired goals
and acting against their interests. It is especially serious in search engines where the CPC (Cost per click) is much higher.
the competitors are responsible for these actions. The great difficulty
to spot fraudulent clicks is that they follow patterns that are very
similar to those of the actual client, which makes differentiating
between an actual click and a fraudulent click very complicated. At
macro level the problem is so big that many sources value the losses at
6.3 billions dolars.
How to combat click fraud in Adwords?
Now that the problem’s clear, we will explain the solutions on how to combat fraud:
Monitor invalid clicks
The first filter that we must recognize in any Adwords account is the filter given by google itself, which, in first place filters those clicks that are identified as invalid before
the account is debited. It’s done through a system of automatic filters
that are capable of recognizing anomalous behavior. These filters can
not control 100% of fraud and to complement it, Google has designed a
team of people (Google Ad Quality Team) to manually investigate other
frauds. It is not a perfect system, but it is the first step to prevent
Every time Google identifies these invalid clicks, they are displayed in the invoice.
To find out how many invalid clicks and the percentage of invalid clicks has been generated, you need to go to columns> Performance> and select the metrics you want to display.
… And you’ll see the following information on the adwords column:
It is a tool on Adwords which allows you to add IPs to never again show them your ads and prevent fraudulent clicks.
It should be the first complement to Google automatic system and
requires proactivity to add, gradually, those IPs that are detected as
What criteria should I follow to see if it is
fraud? This will depend a lot on the niche, but if it comes to services,
from the third click and up you can start considering the IP anomalous
and prone to be excluded.
To add IPs you must go to the level of each campaign to Settings> IP Exclusions
do I get the IPs? You must know that neither Adwords or Analytics will
show information from the IPs because it is considered personal
information. However, there are other alternative methods where you can
get the IPs:
cpanel you can find all IPs that were registered on your site, download
them in an excel sheet and start adding them to Adwords.
This may seem surprising to you, but some chat software capture the
visitor IP, allowing the recollection for a future exclusion.
You must know that the click exclusion tool has a maximum of 500 IPs
Tip: From the first day, exclude the agency’s and announcer’s IPs to avoid the temptation of searching your ad.
Negative Search Remarketing (RLSA)
Since the most expensive clicks are produced in search, an interesting strategy is avoiding the display of the ad to people that have already clicked it once. With
this way we make sure that the same user will not click the ad
twice. However, if there is no conversion we don’t want to lose the
opportunity and we will try again with Remarketing. The difference is
that with this second click we won’t pay it as search, but as a display.
That can reduce the CPC up to a 1000%.
The remarketing for
search and the exclusion of search campaign lists allows us to, for
example, prevent that every user that has clicked on our ads cannot see
them. For that, you must edit the affiliation duration with a maximum of
This way, in niches where the chances of revisiting are
low, like moving or reparations, we make sure that the budget is spent
bringing in new users… And at the same time avoiding the competition.
As you can see, this is an interesting complement to IP exclusion.
How do you do this? In the Public > Remarketing > Exclude Public ads.
Investigate the geographic location of the clicks
Imagine that your geographical orientation is exclusively limited to
your city or region and in the geographical inform you spot a
significant volume of clicks from Russia or China. This can definitely
be a signal that something’s not okay. At this point you can ask for an
investigation from Google (which brings us to another point), excludes
the IP and/or excludes those geographies.
Analyze the Frequency and scope
With Google Analytics you have the frequency and scope metrics
available. If you see that the frequency of an Adwords user is too high,
then something’s wrong and you have another motive to start worrying
about anomalous behavior.
Other patterns to be aware about
In addition to the above, you can also be suspicious when the user behavior is not normal, for example:
There are significant spikes in impressions not justified by seasonality.
Significant drop in the number of page views of visitors who arrived by Adwords.
Significant increase in bounce rate of visitors who arrived by adwords.
Significant drop in conversions without a decrease in clicks.
Ask Google for an investigation
If you have enough reasons and data to believe that you are suffering
from fraud you must request an investigation to the Google team to
validate whether your hypothesis is valid. Although this does not happen
too often, if they believe there was ant kind of fraud they will refund
the money to the account.
Accept that controlling 100% of the fraud is impossible and is a part of the game
As I mentioned above, sometimes the behavior of competitors is
identical to a potential client and this makes it impossible to
completely control fraud.
To control fraud one
needs to have advanced knowledge of the tool that will permit the
implementing of strategies that will reduce the impact. The combination
of all the points mentioned above and the adequate use of each one will
make the level of fraud be always controlled in your account and will
let you sleep at night.