If you are using Google AdWords to promote your website, please read this very important notice and check your account immediately.
The problem is with their Display Network ads. When you sign up for AdWords you have the choice of being seen in the Search Network, which are the sponsored ads that appear on the top and right column of your Google search results. If you chose to be included in the Display Network, which currently is the default, this has nothing to do with the Google search results you see on the search pages.
The Google Display Network commissions other websites to promote the ads you are paying for. They do this through the AdChoices program. This alone is a good idea for them, for the AdChoice client and for you. Where the problem lies is that scammers have quickly learned that they can build bogus websites, apply for the AdChoice program, and display your ad on these sites. Then they send out messages to their network of friends to click on your ad. You may be paying $1 a click for this. The bogus website owner gets a piece, Google gets a piece, but you did not get a legitimate lead.
This problem is especially prevalent in Google’s new Mobile Ad option. Sounds like a good idea, but it is ripe for abuse and in less than two months of trying this new option, nearly every click that we got charged for was from a bogus website.
The scammers even go so far to create hundreds of websites using domain names similar to your domain. Then they sit back and collect commission from Google, while you’re not getting the quality traffic you think you are paying for.
At the same time you log into your Google AdWords account and see a chart that makes it look like you’re getting great results! What they don’t tell you is that you have been paying for clicks that are not at all related to your goods or service. It isn’t until you dig much deeper that you find out where those clicks really came from.
In a future blog I’ll tell you how to stop this and get your money back for bogus clicks you paid for!