So you think you’re a victim of click fraud – now what? Well, it’s time to play “cyber detective” to get refunds from PPC engines for your wasted dollars. Keep in mind that click fraud reimbursements eat away at a search engine’s revenue – therefore, the burden of proof lies entirely with you.
Step One – gather all the information about the occurrences of click fraud. You will need ad campaign names, IP addresses, referring pages, the geographic origin of the clicks in question, keywords searched for, the number and times of the clicks, and any other relevant data required by the search engine to process a claim. All this information can easily be obtained from most third-party tracking tools or from server logs.
Step Two – write 1-2 paragraphs describing the abnormality in your PPC account, any click trends that you may have noticed, and what makes you believe this is click fraud.
Step Three – compile an easy-to-understand email with all the data that you’ve gathered, along with your comments from Step Two. Make sure you approach this issue objectively, with valid data to back up your claim. You can use general support emails or contact forms to send the information to the search engine.
In a day or so, you will likely get a response with: a) acknowledgement of click fraud in your account, including relevant refund information; b) a standard response about further investigation; or c) refusal of your click fraud claim.
Unfortunately, scenario “c” is the most common; however, never take the first “no” as the final answer. Inquire further about their decision, and/or ask to contact a supervisor. Most importantly, always follow up on your claims. It often takes a couple of emails/phone calls to receive an adequate response.
Keep in mind that if you feel you’re a victim of click fraud, there is no reason why your ad dollars should be wasted – no matter what your budget. Be patient – but persistent – and get the reimbursement you deserve!