TrafficGuard plans to release software for small and medium-sized (SMBs) companies, as it becomes increasingly important to ensure that click fraud doesn’t eat into a brand’s budget during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The technology detects fraudulent clicks in real-time for paid search running in Google Ads.
The software aims to mitigate the loss of ad spend. One way is to identify and exclude specific IP addresses, explains Luke Taylor, COO and cofounder of TrafficGuard. “We’re also working to add Microsoft Advertising and other companies,” he said.
Advertisers lost about $42 billion to ad fraud in 2019, according to Juniper Research.
Supporting SMBs during the COVID-19 pandemic, TrafficGuard took its broader advertising fraud mitigation product based on subscription tiers and extended it across paid search. Then the company decided to offer a scaled-down version for free to small and medium-sized businesses to support them during COVID-19.
The software works across desktop and mobile, as well as Shopping campaigns on Google.
The types of businesses that might use the platform include plumbers, cafés, hair salons, and dog groomers. These companies might have relied on a physical store and now rely solely depend on customers coming from online, Taylor said.
The platform shows ad clicks, invalid clicks, visitors from ads, invalid click rates, impressions, conversions, blocked IPS, costs, and more
Paid-search advertisers who choose to switch at any time from the free model to pay-as-you-go would pay about 1% of advertising spend, and most often about $25 monthly, he said.
Taylor said it is much easier to optimize their advertising strategies away from invalid traffic rather than try to get Google to reimburse for the fraudulent click.
Google may on average only reimburse small businesses about one-third of the invalid traffic brought to them, as reported by TrafficGuard.
“We provide a click report that advertisers can take to Google to request a refund for invalid clicks,” he said. “Google has a process where every two months advertisers can submit a report and hopefully get some budget back.”
The report will give marketers the data to adjust their invalid click rate by looking at the campaigns and the networks they run across.
The IP report will allow marketers to make exclusions directly in Google Ads, including the knowledge to exclude certain placements in specific platforms such as Gmail.