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Monday, February 20, 2012

Rumours Surface of AdWords Click-to-Call Fraud

Posted by @ 12:20 am

This is a warning to any advertisers using Google’s click to call service – an advertiser of Google AdWords recently claimed that his click to call campaign is receiving invalid or fraudulent calls.

According to the advertisers Webmaster World post:

I’ve been happy with bid-to-call. It’s super cheap and some of the calls are good. Most are not potential customers, but that is true for clicks, too. That’s part of doing business. Overall bid-to-call has been a good thing.

However…. a couple of the AdGroups I had it on started getting a bunch of calls. These were low activity AdGroups, and there were most calls than clicks (normally the ratio is about a hundred clicks for every call). The calls were under 30 seconds, so Google does not charge us for them. I am not worried about the cost from Google. I am worried about the labor cost for my client who has to answer the phone. Too many of these low quality calls becomes a nuisance.

To remedy this, I paused the AdGroups that were generating these calls (at least, according to Google these AdGroups were generating a lot of calls.) After pausing, there were zero clicks. But the calls continued to come in! Google still reports under 30-second calls from these two AdGroups!

Is this a new form of spam or fraud? After worrying about fraudulent clicks for years am I now going to have to worry about fraudulent calls?

Click fraud has existed almost since the inception of the concept of pay-per-click marketing; sometimes at the hands of your own competitors and sometimes at the hands of the pay-per-click ad provider trying to drive up their revenue. However, click-to-call fraud is quite rare, but that doesn’t mean you should become complacent with these campaigns.

Is this a real fraud or just a bug in Google’s reporting system? A response from Google about this matter is still awaited. In the meantime, make sure to check your ad campaign and report anything suspicious before you incur any losses.

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Discussion (3 - comments)

[...] Rumours Surface of AdWords Click-to-Call Fraud [...]

By Rumours Surface of AdWords Click-to-Call Fraud | RM2 Project - February 20, 2012

[...] Rumours Surface of AdWords Click-to-Call Fraud Feb 20th, 2012No Comments [...]

By Rumours Surface of AdWords Click-to-Call Fraud « Miami Beach Web Designer - February 20, 2012

[...] Rumours Surface of AdWords Click-to-Call Fraud — If you’ve been using Google’s click-to-call service, you might want to see what iNeedHits discovered in the Webmaster World Forum this week. It’s sort of scary. [...]

By The Best Small Business Marketing News & Blog Posts of the Week — February 24, 2012 – DIYSEO - February 24, 2012

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