With a yearly cost to marketers that exceeds $35 billion, click bots remain a major pain in the thigh for PPC marketing managers. They not only zap your ad budget with fraudulent clicks, but also skew data and suck up your analytics resources.
How do you detect bot traffic?
The good news is that there are several methods you can use to detect click bots — and stop them from ruining your PPC campaigns. You can monitor your traffic patterns and look out for sudden changes that are indicative of bot activity. For example, if you notice an increase in new subscribers coming from a foreign country or region, it may be a sign of fake bot clicks. You can also check for abnormal traffic spikes, such as a sudden increase in visitors to your website.
Another key indicator of bot activity is a spike in session duration. Generally, human users stay on web pages for several minutes; however, bots tend to bounce from websites more quickly than humans.
Most modern solutions for detecting click bots are based on behavioral analysis. This involves using machine learning to closely study user behaviors and compare them with bot behavior. Whenever a user’s behavior deviates significantly from typical behavior, the solution will flag that user as likely a click bot and take appropriate action. These solutions are much more effective and accurate than manual, in-house detection processes — which can be time-consuming and expensive. In addition, they won’t be able to spot all instances of ad fraud.