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Click Bots and Fake Traffic Cost Online Advertisers $35 Billion a Year
30th October 2022 • The Google Ads Podcast • Solutions 8
00:00:00 00:10:10

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In this eye-opening video, Kasim takes a closer look at how click bots and fake traffic are costing online advertisers billions of dollars every year.

Online advertising is big business, and it's only getting bigger. Unfortunately, that also means more and more people are trying to take advantage of the system by creating fake traffic.

SearchEngine Journal released a news article about the study by the University of Baltimore. The study results estimated PPC fraud costs businesses $35 billion globally in 2020 alone.

With the surge of click bots and fake traffic, Google is essentially selling advertisers poisoned traffic. What’s worse is they’re refusing to acknowledge that there’s a problem.

Read the SearchEngine Journal News article here: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/c...

Related Video:

🪨 Fraudulent Traffic Is Way More of a Problem Than We Thought! Here’s How to Fix It: https://youtu.be/nXr19dQ6LN4


0:00 Introduction

0:37 Click Bots and Fake Traffic Cost Online Advertisers $35 Billion

4:15 Is this data reliable though?

10:10 90% of the leads in Performance Max campaigns are spam leads


Catch Kasim and John LIVE every Friday at 1 PM PST as they answer everything you want to know about Google Ads.

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🤖🦾🦿 The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads Performance Max for 2022 (Part 1-3): https://youtu.be/oXoFn7dUvL8

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https://youtu.be/syadgcDVntU


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Transcripts

john:

So this is a really costly problem that I was starting to feel

john:

like I was the only person in my little echo chamber talking about this.

john:

This is such a problem, and the problem is being exacerbated by the fact that

john:

we're being forced into an ecosystem that has more and more fake traffic.

john:

It's so frustrating because they're selling us poisoned traffic and that,

john:

but none of this works, by the way.

john:

It doesn't work.

john:

These bots in these click farm, They know how to hurdle these issues.

john:

Really amazing.

john:

Article came out from Search Engine Journal an hour ago.

john:

Shout out to Moham de Boston on our team for finding this, and shout out to

john:

Brian Frederick over at s scj published.

john:

One hour ago, click bots and fake traffic cost online advertisers $35 billion.

john:

Here's the thing, y'all, I was starting to feel like I was the only person in my

john:

little echo chamber talking about this.

john:

This is such a problem.

john:

And the problem is being exacerbated by the fact that we're being

john:

forced into an ecosystem that has more and more fake traffic.

john:

Because as a Google advertiser for a very long time we were drinking

john:

from a specific well, and that specific well was inbound traffic.

john:

And the inbound traffic well was actually relatively clean.

john:

Well, and all of our safeguards, tools, tactic strategies were built around this.

john:

Well, Google started selling us inventory from a brand new Well, and it's much.

john:

I mean, by many multiples, the display based traffic compared

john:

to inbound search based traffic.

john:

I'd have to look it up.

john:

I should honestly, But I bet you it's hundreds of times the size, right?

john:

Like, how could it not be?

john:

Especially given, and that's, I guess, maybe the point that I should be

john:

making certain points of analysis.

john:

the number of people that are currently shopping to buy a car

john:

versus the number of potential people that would buy a car at some point.

john:

it's.

john:

Immense the differences in proportions.

john:

And that's important to know because it's actually really.

john:

Powerful to think that, Oh, okay, we're gonna open up this whole new

john:

to continue the analogy, we have this whole new wealth from which we can draw,

john:

and we finally have the AI mechanisms necessary in order to identify who these

john:

prospects are, what they're interested in, what they'll buy, when they'll

john:

buy, how to sell to them, et cetera.

john:

Great.

john:

But this well is poisoned.

john:

This is a poisoned Well, and that's the point that the article makes.

john:

Goes on to talk about the percentage of fake traffic how much this fake traffic

john:

is costing businesses, and the fact that Google is refusing to acknowledge

john:

that there is a freaking problem.

john:

it's so frustrating because they're selling us poisoned traffic but none

john:

of this works, by the way, I mean, I'm not trying to bash Frederick.

john:

I really appreciate him or Brian, excuse me.

john:

I really appreciate him, Voicing this, but the ip, like, if, this stuff

john:

worked, we wouldn't have a problem.

john:

It doesn't work.

john:

These bots in these ClickFORMs, they know how to hurdle these issues.

john:

It's like playing Red Rover against an NBA player.

john:

You're just not gonna do anything.

john:

Another couple really interesting issues, by the way, just on a side note goes on to

john:

say almost 40% of all web traffic is fake.

john:

Okay, that's cool.

john:

Great data point.

john:

How do you know that?

john:

So then you go and, and incidentally, this is something

john:

I'd encourage everybody to do.

john:

If you see a data point referenced with a citation, go check out that citation.

john:

This should be a habit.

john:

We're forced to cultivate if you're gonna use the internet, because so many

john:

of us, all of us, you read something, you hear something, you take that data

john:

point away, and then you share it.

john:

You become a mouthpiece for it.

john:

You're a note in a network, and this information is propagating

john:

to everybody else in your network.

john:

And if you don't go and, look at where the data came from, how it was

john:

compiled, what the methodology of the data collection was, who these people

john:

are, the context from which they're approaching the data collection.

john:

Like all that's really, really important.

john:

Here's why I say that.

john:

Check this out.

john:

So this is check.ai, which by the way, it's within their

john:

interest to make this point.

john:

And so you view their data through that lens.

john:

They own click use, by the way.

john:

But that doesn't mean that it's invalid.

john:

and the defined methodology that they provided is actually really good.

john:

And this is somehow associated with the Israeli Cyber Company's Forum,

john:

which I didn't know what that was.

john:

And so I went and looked it up and I found this guy.

john:

I couldn't find a website,

john:

The Israeli cyber tech form seems like it's a part of the

john:

Manufacturer's Association of Israel.

john:

So like, seems, all I'm saying is, How much can I trust this data?

john:

And then I went and I looked at their methodology.

john:

Well, hold on, let me show you this first.

john:

Today, IVT makes up 40% of all web traffic.

john:

IV t by the way, is invalid traffic.

john:

So according to check.ai, IVT makes up 40% of all, all web traffic.

john:

And here's their methodology, which is really smart, by the way.

john:

It's simple, it's basic, but elegant.

john:

10 months.

john:

Across 10,000 check customers, and they're looking at funnels, websites, you know,

john:

like look, digital infrastructure, and they're defining what invalid traffic

john:

is, which I agree with all of this.

john:

But malicious, suspicious, okay,

john:

this is the part that's, To determine the traffic's validity, we performed over

john:

2000 real time cybersecurity challenges to every site visitor's browser.

john:

That's genius.

john:

Each visit was analyzed by our intelligence engine, so they're

john:

using AI or something like it.

john:

Woo.

john:

This is not a glitch.

john:

I'm interrupting the video you're watching because I need to remind

john:

you that I'm always looking for people to join our team.

john:

So if you're passionate about Google Ads and you wanna work with the best

john:

Google Ads agency on the planet, please go to so late.com/apply.

john:

Speaking of working with the best Google Ads agency on the planet, if you're having

john:

trouble with Google Ads and you want professional help, that's what we do.

john:

You can go to so late.com, that's s o l eight.com to apply for your

john:

free, no obligation action plan.

john:

And if I've.

john:

Any level of value at all.

john:

Maybe think about giving me a thumbs up and subscribe your channel.

john:

That's how we choose the YouTube algorithm, so they actually know

john:

that I know what I'm talking about.

john:

If you have questions, comments, concerns, or confessions, hit me

john:

below in the comments and now back to your regularly scheduled program.

john:

And then they segment them into invalid, invalid segment.

john:

Now again, because it's to their benefit to have more

john:

invalid users than valid users.

john:

You could start to see.

john:

This breaks down because it's a value judgment and they're the

john:

ones defining the values that said, that feels as sound as it could be.

john:

Right?

john:

And they go on to discuss what they found.

john:

27% of organic and direct traffic is invalid.

john:

Cool.

john:

32% of that traffic from mobile is invalid.

john:

32% of that traffic in the retail sector is invalid.

john:

Here's what's interesting.

john:

Never once did they use the 40% number again, ever.

john:

And if I go to the summary they say 20% of all organic and direct traffic

john:

is invalid within certain industries.

john:

Like retail, I b T can go as high as 32%.

john:

Well, that's not 40%.

john:

As a matter of fact, that's a significant margin off of 40%.

john:

So here's this data point.

john:

I don't fault Brian for this because he just trusted the source that he

john:

cited, but here's this data point that actually has no citation.

john:

it's frustrating because when you're trying to make these points, when

john:

you're trying to argue this point, and you want to be able to argue

john:

it from a position of impenetrable unimpeachable integrity, right?

john:

And when things can be dismantled by kind of picking apart your argument because.

john:

, they're not carefully crafted.

john:

that's dangerous.

john:

It's a dangerous place for all of us to be.

john:

That said, the study still has a lot of really interesting things.

john:

Harvard Business Review says that bad data is extremely prevalent,

john:

costing us over 3 trillion per year.

john:

And then again, here's a value judgment.

john:

Our analysis suggests that 10% of that bad data is indirect result of I B T.

john:

Feels reasonable.

john:

That's $697 billion annually.

john:

Looking at the US.

john:

So this is a really costly problem that Google refuses to acknowledge.

john:

The other thing bugs me a little bit about this report is that it

john:

shows organic and direct traffic.

john:

It Here's the thing with what we're seeing when I run Performance Max,

john:

90% of the leads that we're getting are spam, fake bullshit leads,

john:

which that doesn't mean that 90% of the traffic is spam, fake or

john:

bullshit because the fake traffic has a higher propensity to convert.

john:

But it's definitely the majority.

john:

When they do this study, I don't think that they're

john:

using PAX or outbound display.

john:

I could be wrong.

john:

I'd be really interested in finding that out.

john:

Here's what pisses me off about Google, Okay?

john:

This methodology of identifying fake and spam users makes all the sense

john:

in the world, and it works for.

john:

So, and here's what's really cool.

john:

Check this out.

john:

I looked separately, or check.ai is a $1 billion company, okay?

john:

Billion dollar value.

john:

they're a $1,420 billion company.

john:

They're 1400 times the size of check.ai.

john:

There's no way they don't have the technical wherewithal

john:

to do that exact thing.

john:

You know what I mean?

john:

Like there's ways for Google to identify this spam traffic.

john:

They just don't want to, because they've been selling us the poison.

john:

Well, and, you know what, I really think it is too, and actually Brian

john:

makes this point in the article.

john:

It's not that they're trying to profit from fake traffic.

john:

It's that they're terrified.

john:

So they almost have to keep the problem going because if they solved

john:

the problem overnight, it's an instant recognition just how bad this was.

john:

now you have the opportunity for like, where reparations here.

john:

anyway, super important article.

john:

I'll link to this in the description of this video.

john:

I'd love to know what y'all.

john:

finding ways to fight bot traffic, but it's hard, it's pain and it inhibits

john:

our ability to use Performance Max.

john:

Like we're still having a hard time with PAX for Legion, and every sales

john:

call I do with the lead gen and client is like, Well, it can work.

john:

Here are the problems.

john:

Change your entire conversion stack.

john:

I just wish that we had more help from Google.

john:

I wish they're actually on our side, but if enough of us get together and start

john:

bitching about this, maybe they will be.

john:

So, that's all I got for you.

john:

Appreciate y'all.

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