Google Click Fraud: Is It Possible to Get a Refund?
Google click fraud is an ongoing problem that advertisers and publishers around the world face. The experts are working on ways to stop it from happening, but the chances of eliminating it completely are pretty slim. Fraudsters will find a way to defraud because it is what they do. As an advertiser, can you get a refund from Google if you discover you have been the victim of click fraud?
Technically, yes. But practically speaking, it is very difficult to succeed in getting a refund because it requires a ton of documentation. You need to prove you have been victimized. Google isn’t going to simply take your word for it.
Click and Traffic Details
Asking Google for a refund will result in the company asking for documentation in return. They are going to want to see all the click and traffic details you can offer. They will not be satisfied with a simple click history. They are going to want details, including evidence of the suspicious clicks and why you think they might be fraudulent.
Here is just a sampling of some of the information Google might request:
- IP addresses linked to the suspicious clicks
- The dates the clicks occurred
- All affected keywords and ad groups
- Questionable ad placements
- Copies of your previous ads
- Information about your budget and bids.
Along with all the details, you’re going to have to support your suspicions of Google ad fraud by explaining why you believe some or all your clicks are fraudulent. You will also need to demonstrate that you checked your account for potential invalid traffic.
Submit the Online Claim Form
If you’re comfortable you have the documentation to support allegations of Google click fraud, getting the process started requires little more than heading to Google’s website, searching for refunds, and finding your way to their refund page. That page includes an online form for submitting the claim.
Complete every field in the form before attaching your documentation and submitting it. Be heavy on the facts and light on your opinions. There is no need to use flowery speech or convincing arguments. Google is interested in the facts and the facts alone. Give them what they want and don’t try to convince them of anything your facts cannot support.
Avoid Asking for Refunds
While it is possible to request a refund due to Google ad fraud, a better way to go about it is to prevent ad fraud to begin with. If you can stop fraudsters from doing what they do, you can avoid the hassle of asking for refunds.
Diligence is the key. It also helps to deploy click fraud prevention software, like the package offered by Fraud Blocker. If you don’t want to buy the software and do the work yourself, you can always sign on with a click fraud detection service. Either way, there are tools you can deploy to monitor your traffic while simultaneously seeking out fraudsters.
A Never-Ending Task
As a reminder, rooting out and preventing Google ad fraud is a never-ending task. There are lots of ways to perpetrate click fraud, ranging from click bots to add stacking. Just because you uncover one instance of ad fraud doesn’t mean you have forever won the battle. It is a constant fight to keep fraudsters away.
When one does manage to make its way through, you can ask for a refund from Google. As for other publishing platforms, you are free to ask for refunds from them too. The worst they can do is say no. Just be prepared to document your claims of ad fraud before you ask.