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Adwords bot war

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by Alex Edison, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. Alex Edison

    Alex Edison Newbie

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    Me and my family opened a business to support my family (parents) as they are close to retirement with little money. We put all the money saved up, sleepless nights, worked extremely hard to get the business up and running. In the past 3 months, we got approached by 2 competitors trying to shut us down, first claim we stole their google ad title, which is a generic term we used (ex: best restaurant), the other tried to shut down our website claiming we using the same font and color on his website. They both failed at their attempt and tried to threaten us to give them the profits we made. When all their attempts failed, they or at least one of them has a google adwords bot clicking our ads every single day costing us 10 times what we would normally spend on the ads, so we have been running in the negative because of it. We believe in karma, so we do not want to click their ads back yet, we tried to use IP address blocking services such as clickcease, but they change the IP address every 3 clicks to be undetected. So we are really running out of money and we might shutdown just because of them. We need help to stop this, we are not asking to do anything unethical or hurt them, but we just want to be able to advertise without going bankrupt because of their bot. Clickcease has all the evidence to support that they are just clicking our ads. Sorry for the long post, but wanted to share most of the details. We even tried to get a lawyer involved, but did not work. Please advice ASAP.
     
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  2. Dan21

    Dan21 Registered Member

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    Wrong place to post this, this is terrible that they do this. What kind of business you have?
     
  3. Internet-Marketer

    Internet-Marketer Regular Member

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    Try other traffic source like bing.
     
  4. Reaver

    Reaver Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  5. knowledge

    knowledge Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Google is said to have a system in place that is supposed to tag fraudulent clicks as invalid activity, But if that's not happening, here's a link for reporting invalid clicks...

    https://support.google.com/adwords/contact/click_quality

    Hope they help you handle this unpleasant situation.
     
  6. Alex Edison

    Alex Edison Newbie

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    Thank you for the quick responses, We own an Escape The Room business, where you and your friends get locked in a room, have to solve puzzles, find clues and hints to try to get out before the 60 minutes are over. It is a good team bonding activity and fun. We reported and called google with no use, no one can prove that it is them since they are using a bot to click and change IP addresses. Google only refund us 10 clicks a day while we are getting 100 bot clicks worth $1200 or more per day. On average you should be spending $200-$300 and make $1000-$1500 in bookings, but now he is clicking our ads enough that we are losing $500-$1200 a day. We tried facebook, bing, instagram and twitter, but it seems google is bringing 70% of the traffic.
     
  7. Alex Edison

    Alex Edison Newbie

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    Why is it the wrong place to post this and where should I post this? Sorry I am new to BHW.
     
  8. knowledge

    knowledge Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Using the following link, you can send the exact details of fraudulent clicks to Google and see what happens.

    https://support.google.com/adwords/contact/click_quality
     
  9. Alex Edison

    Alex Edison Newbie

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    We used that and no one did anything on their end.
     
  10. Alex Edison

    Alex Edison Newbie

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    Thank you, we reported it to google multiple times with no results, since we can't prove it is them since they are hiding behind proxies.
     
  11. knowledge

    knowledge Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    It's terrible, what's happening with you. I wish some Adwords experts pitch in with a solution to your problem.

    Keep us informed.
     
  12. dandan594594

    dandan594594 Power Member

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    I'm no expert however:

    1) Google should refund you on unethical clicks. Make sure to have good visitor tracking systems in place, and collect enough data to forward to Google.

    2) Bots with rotating proxies hardly ever have connected persona's and previous browsing/buying habits associated.

    So rather than targeting your master keyword in the ads campaign, try breaking it down to target smaller age ranges and demographics. ie; Men 19 - 25, Women 25 - 40..... and even down to internet interests and habits.

    This way your ads "should" only show to "real" people with a previous browsing and shopping history. Plus with campaigns broken down in to smaller sections, if one does start getting auto clicked, you are losing much less money, and can deactivate much quicker without losing out on the other set of ads.
     
  13. Alex Edison

    Alex Edison Newbie

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    Thank you, yes, it is very sad thing, we offered to work with them as a team and refer customers to each other since each of us offer different rooms, and the customer will play a room once. So essentially it is not really a competition, but they went out of their way to take us out of the business. I have a daytime job and I am using every penny from the job to support the business until we find a solution for this. My parents are old, once I get married, have kids, I won't be able to fully support them as I am now. So we opened this business to help our parents as they get older and have no job or savings.
     
  14. iDany

    iDany Newbie

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    Google doesn't have the option to narrow down the audience, hence no solution for this. You are not the only one, this is very common in adwords.
    Start doing the same, so they have the same ad cost as you. Eventually they will reach out and ask you to stop. They will stop the bot before asking you.
    Unfortunately there is no way to stop this and Google doesn't care about these things.
    The only reason they are doing this is because they think you can't do it and they feel smart.
     
  15. dandan594594

    dandan594594 Power Member

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    This is totally wrong! Adwords has 100's of ways to break down interests and demographics.

    To begin with you can make separate ad sets for different operating systems, you can target only men and women, you can target age ranges and you can target interests.
     
  16. Alex Edison

    Alex Edison Newbie

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    1 - We narrowed down the keywords and demographics, targeted age, men and so on. etc....
    2- We are not sure how they are doing it, but they are and we have the evidence, but google does not want to give us anything back.
     
  17. Alex Edison

    Alex Edison Newbie

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    Well, that's very true, we can't and do not know what to do about it, and they know it. They know they can run us out of business and it is a matter of time. We just want them to stop, but how do we get them to stop? Do we do what they are doing to show them that we can use the same weapons and then both sides agree to stop? We tried to just block IP addresses and that was not enough, so we started to block IP ranges even though that can lead to blocking potential customers but we took the chance. Yes the clicking fraud detection software helped a lot, but not enough to bring us to the positive side. We really need some experts help. We are not trying to be Bill Gates, we are just trying to live, yet there are people out there that won't let others even survive. We have 5 stars ratings on all platforms because we care and give the best customer service and experience we can.
     
  18. dandan594594

    dandan594594 Power Member

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    Well they must be targeting certain keywords in your ads, most likely your business URL.

    Best advice would be make landing pages on separate domains or use a service like leadpages, and see if that helps.
     
  19. Alex Edison

    Alex Edison Newbie

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    They are targeting the URL. So no matter what keyword we use, if our own show up on the first page, it gets hit. We really need to fight back and to get them to stop. We are not trying to take them out of business or do anything evil, but we just want to run our business that we worked hard for and continue providing excellent customer service. We have prove and evidence to share with anyone if anyone doubt that we are lying or trying to do evil to others.
     
  20. dandan594594

    dandan594594 Power Member

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    LANDINGPAGES!!

    Done....
     
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