Roy Dovastan explains how those plumbers who are advertising their services online must guard themselves against Click Fraud.

Sixteen years after Google AdWords was first launched, it has now become an integral part of many plumbers and heating engineers' marketing activities.

However, just as businesses are enjoying the benefits of using AdWords' pay per click service, certain individuals and organisations out there are willing to exploit it in more negative ways.

AdWords is an advertising platform offered by Google for those businesses wanting to display ads on Google and its advertising network. The AdWords platform enables businesses to set a budget for advertising, and only pay when people click the ads. The ad programme is mainly focused on keywords and is largely considered one of the best ways of generating new leads, enquiries and sales.

With this advertising model in mind, it's no wonder that many heating, ventilating and plumbing companies rely on per-click advertising, in particular Google AdWords, to create business in their respective regions.

However, the pay per click model means that activity known as click fraud is always in the back of advertiser minds. Click fraud occurs when pay per click ads are clicked on maliciously, in an attempt to inflate the advertisers' spend.

Coupled with a lack of enquiries due to this behaviour, it leaves the advertiser in a situation whereby they conclude that pay per click doesn't work, and are sadly left with large advertising bills. Of course, this is a false belief and plays into the hands of the perpetrators, because it results in their closest competitors pausing their ads, handing them an advantage as competition are driven away.

The problem runs deeper than malicious competitors, though, with a reported $16.4 billion global loss expected in 2017 and 20% of automated bot traffic click through paid ads. Automated bots make up a huge portion of click fraud, making it increasingly important to add a layer of security to your AdWords efforts.

It may seem that advertising using Google AdWords is high risk but, in fact, if campaigns are managed correctly, coupled with anti-click fraud monitoring software, using pay per click can still be a great way to generate new leads for advertisers.

Using an advanced monitoring service to keep a close check on your AdWords visitors is important in order to not fall victim to click fraud.

Click Guardian offers a detection and protection service that actively monitors who clicks on your ads, tracks the behaviour of the visitor and automatically blocks in AdWords if excessive clicking is detected. Once a block is issued, ads are no longer delivered to the perpetrator, meaning the plumber's valuable advertising budget will remain intact.

Click Guardian offers a free 14-day trial of its services at