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Instructions and Helpful Tips

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How to Create a New Click Tracker

1. Click "Manager Home Screen" and then click "Create New Click Tracker" button.

2. Choose the General Settings for your click tracker:

  • Select a Tracker Name. This unique name will help you identify this tracker every time you use your account.

  • Enter Landing Page URL. This is the final webpage that this tracker will forward to after PPCSecure tracks the click. If you are using this tracker with a single landing page, enter your exact landing page in this field. If you are using this tracker with Google AdWords or with many landing pages, simply enter your main domain name (http://www.yourwebsite.com) into this field. See the section below entitled "How to use one PPCSecure tracker for multiple landing pages" if you wish to use one PPCSecure tracker for many different landing pages.

  • Select up to 3 notification email addresses. This is where you want to be emailed or texted every time one of your trackers triggers an alert.

  • Choose the time zone closest to your location. This is the time zone PPCSecure will use to report your clicks. This should be set to the same time zone that your AdWords account is set to (Example: GMT -06:00)

3. Choose the Alert Level settings for your click tracker. You can set up to 3 alert levels in PPCSecure, ranging from mild to severe. You can customize the following options:

  • Choose which number of clicks to allow over which amount of time. This is the MOST IMPORTANT setting in PPCSecure. Although some click fraud happens slowly over time, velocity (the speed at which clicks happen) can be an excellent indicator of fraud. A mild (Level 1) alert might be someone clicking on your ad 3 times in 48 hours. A severe (Level 3) alert might be someone clicking on your ads 10 times in 5 minutes.

  • Choose whether you want to receive an alert via email when the alert level is triggered.

  • Choose whether you want to show a warning message to the person clicking your ad when this alert level is triggered. If yes, you will be prompted to enter the warning message text.


4. Click Create Tracker button.

5. Copy and Paste Tracker link shown on the confirmation screen into Google AdWords or Bing. This link must be installed or your tracker will NOT record clicks.

How to Install PPCSecure Tracking URL in AdWords (Account Level)

These instructions help you install your PPCSecure tracker at the Account level in AdWords. This will allow a SINGLE PPCSecure tracker to track all clicks from every campaign, ad group, ad, and sitelink/extension in your entire Google account.


Step 1: Login to adwords.google.com and click the "Campaigns" Tab. Then click "Shared Library".




Step 2: Click "URL Options" and then click "Edit" next to Tracking Template URL.




Step 3: Enter your PPCSecure tracking URL into the field and click Save.




How to Install PPCSecure Tracking URL in AdWords (Campaign Level)

These instructions help you install your PPCSecure tracker at the Campaign level in AdWords. This will track all clicks from every ad group, ad, and sitelink/extension ONLY WITHIN THE CAMPAIGNS WHICH IT IS INSTALLED.


Step 1: Login to adwords.google.com and click the "Campaigns" Tab




Step 2: Click the Campaign you wish to edit and then click the Settings tab.




Step 3: Scroll down and click on "Campaign URL Options (advanced)" and then click "Edit".




Step 4: Enter the PPCSecure Tracking URL in the tracking template field. Then click "Save".



How to Install PPCSecure Tracking URL in AdWords (Ad Level)

These instructions help you install your PPCSecure tracking URL at the ad level in Google AdWords. This will track all clicks ONLY FOR THE ADS IT IS INSTALLED INTO. IT WILL NOT TRACK CLICKS FROM OTHER CAMPAIGNS, ADS OR SITELINKS. If you have many ads or campaigns, you may want to instead consider installing the PPCSecure tracking URL at the Account or Campaign level. If so, scroll up and click on the instructions for Account or Campaign Level install.


Step 1: Login to adwords.google.com and click the "Ads" Tab




Step 2: Click the pencil icon to edit your ad


Step 3: Click Final URL and enter your final landing page (yourwebsite.com/yourlandingpage).




Step 4: Click Ad URL Options (advanced) and enter the PPCSecure URL in the first field.

How to Install PPCSecure Tracking URL in Bing/Yahoo

These instructions help you install your PPCSecure tracker at the Ad level in Bing.


Step 1: Login to Bing Ads Manager and click the "Ads" Tab




Step 2: Click the Ad you wish to edit.


Step 3: Enter the PPCSecure tracking URL into the destination URL field and click "Save".



How to Edit an Existing Click Tracker

You can easily change an existing click tracker anytime by clicking "Manager Home" and then clicking the pencil icon next to the click tracker you wish to edit. The instructions for editing are identical to those for creating a new tracker (above), except that you DO NOT need to make any changes to the tracking URL we originally gave you. The same tracking URL you entered into Googlee first time will still work. Any edits you make will be automatically applied.

Viewing and Sorting Click Tracker Data

To view all the data collected by your click tracker, visit the Manager Home screen. Then click the magnifying glass next to the click tracker you want to view more data about.

Once you're on the click tracker view screen, you can filter by date using the date picker at the top of the screen. Enter a start and end date and click "Apply". To clear the dates and see all data, simply click the "Clear" button.

You can sort the data by whatever field you wish. To sort the data, simply click the header for that column. Example: If you want to sort by Remote Host, simply click the word "Host" at the top of the column and all data will be sorted by host. By default, the list is sorted by date.

Here are the fields you will be able to view and what they mean:

IP Address - We show you the IP address we collected when the visitor clicked your ad. This address is unique to a single computer on the internet. Click the IP Address to see additional details such as city, state and number of clicks. At this time, we use only IPv4 addresses.

Host Name - This is the NAME of the remote computer that clicked on your ad. If no name is available, N/A will appear, or the IP address of the host may appear.

Port Number - This is the port number being used on the remote computer.

Cookie ID - When a person clicks your ad, we may place a tracking cookie on their computer to help identify them when they return to your website. This ID number is the one collected from the cookie when the person returns to your website. It helps prove a user is the same user even if they change their IP address, port, host, etc.

Referrrer - This is the URL or page the person was referred to your website from. Example: If a person is clicking your ad from a page at bing.com, this referrer field may say "https://www.bing.com/".

Browser - This is the browser the person was using when they clicked your ad. Examples: Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.

Platform - This is the operating system of the machine the person was using when they clicked your ad. Examples: Windows 8, Linux, Macintosh OS X, etc.

Date/Time - This is the date and time of the click, converted into your local time (based on the time zone you chose when setting up the click tracker).

Viewing Details about a specific IP Address

To view all the data about a specific IP address, click on that IP address while you are on the Tracker View screen. This will take you to the IP address details screen, which will show you additional details such as the City, State, Country, Zip Code and total number of clicks for the specific IP Address.

Once you're on the IP details view screen, you can filter by date using the date picker at the top of the screen. Enter a start and end date and click "Apply". To clear the dates and see all data, simply click the "Clear" button.

You can sort the data by whatever field you wish. To sort the data, simply click the header for that column. Example: If you want to sort by Remote Host, simply click the word "Host" at the top of the column and all data will be sorted by host. By default, the list is sorted by date.

How to Delete a Click Tracker

WARNING: Deleting a click tracker is an irreversible process! We cannot retrieve click reports or tracker information once you have deleted the tracker. If you still want to proceed, here are the instructions:

1. Click Manager Home. Then click the Red X next to the click tracker name you wish to delete.

2. Confirm you want to delete by choosing 'Yes' from the menu and then clicking the red "Delete Tracker" button.

Before you delete a tracker, please make sure that there are no Google or Bing Ads currently pointing to the tracking URL associated with that tracker. If you forget to remove the URL for this tracker from an ad, your site visitor will see a "Page Not Found" error when they click on the ad.

NOTE: Deleting a campaign does NOT mean you have cancelled your PPCSecure account. Your account is still active and will continue to be billed until you cancel using the method described in the Terms of Service.

How to Use One PPCSecure Tracker With Multiple Landing Pages

You may use a single PPCSecure tracker with many different landing pages. To do this, just add your final landing page URL after the '&url=' in the tracking link we give you.

For Google AdWords, the url={lpurl} will AUTOMATICALLY populate, so you don't need to specify individual landing pages. Whichever landing page is defined for the ad or keyword in Google AdWords will automatically populate the url= at the time of the click.

For Bing, Yahoo or any other service, replace the {lpurl} with your exact landing page. Example: 'ppcsecure.com/track.php?id=123&url=http://www.yourwebsite.com/landingpage' will send the clicker to yourwebsite.com/landingpage. Make sure the domain is properly typed, including either http:// or https://.

About Warning Messages (PPCWarn™)

Our warning messages (PPCWarn™) option allows you to choose text to display on a warning screen after they have triggered the specified alert level. This is useful because it lets the person know they are being monitored. Just like a video camera in a retail store deters criminals (because they know they are being watched), a visible warning on your website can deter click fraud perpetrators. Here's some general guidelines for using these warning messages:

Warnings should be carefully worded and used only when necessary. We recommend kindly worded warnings (or no warning at all) be displayed for Alert Level 1 (Mild) offenses. You can use progressively harsher wording as the alert levels get higher - Levels 2 and 3 (Medium and Severe).

We recommend this approach because the person clicking your ad may be a legitimate customer and warning them in harsh way may cost you their business. Only when you are sure someone is guilty of click fraud should you issue a harsh warning message.

Many Ad services (other than Google and Bing) do not offer you the chance to exclude or block IP addresses at all. Without this ability, you need to have some way to warn people to prevent them repeatedly clicking on your ad. In these cases, we have discovered PPCWarn™ can be an effective deterrent.

To set up the warnings, visit the Create or Edit Tracker screen. Scroll down to each alert level and choose Yes or No from the warning message dialog box. If you choose yes, a field will appear which will allow you to enter the text you want to display. Once you are done, you can click "Preview" to see what the warning will look like. You can then choose "Create" or "Save" at the bottom of the screen.

How to Receive Alerts via Text Message (SMS)

If you wish to receive triggered alert notifications via your cell phone using text messages, you must provide us with your cell number in an email address format (SMS). Typically, this will be your phone number (without dashes or spaces) at a domain name provided by your service provider. Below, we provide a list of common providers and their domains. This list is not guaranteed to be accurate and you should always check with your provider to determine the proper settings for texting your moblie device.

Example: If your number is 303-555-1212, and you use Verizon, your text address would be: 3035551212@vtext.com

WARNING: Although PPCSecure provides text service at no additional charge, your mobile provider may bill you additional charges for using text messages. PPCSecure is not responsible for these fees. Check with your provider to determine the cost of using text messaging on their network BEFORE you use such services.

U.S. providers and their domains:

Alltel @message.alltel.com
Amp'd Mobile @vtext.com
AT&T @txt.att.net
Boost Mobile @myboostmobile.com
Cingular @mobile.mycingular.com
Cricket @mms.mycricket.com
Einstein PCS @einsteinmms.com
Nextel @messaging.nextel.com
Sprint @messaging.sprintpcs.com
SunCom @tms.suncom.com
T-mobile @tmomail.net
VoiceStream @voicestream.net
US Cellular @email.uscc.net
Verizon @vtext.com
Virgin @vmobl.com

Canadian providers and their domains:

Rogers Wireless @sms.rogers.com
Fido@fido.ca
Telus @msg.telus.com
Bell Mobility @txt.bell.ca
Kudo Mobile @msg.koodomobile.com
MTS @text.mtsmobility.com
Presidents Choice@txt.bell.ca
Sasktel @sms.sasktel.com
Solo @txt.bell.ca
Virgin @vmobile.ca

International providers and domains:

Kapow (UK)@kapow.co.uk
Bouygues (FR)@mms.bouyguestelecom.fr
SFR (FR)@sfr.fr
China Mobile@139.com
CSoft (UK)@itsarrived.net
Essendex (UK)@echoemail.net
MediaBurst (UK)@sms.mediaburst.co.uk
My-Cool-SMS (UK)@my-cool-sms.com
Orange (UK)@orange.net
TxtLocal (UK)@txtlocal.co.uk
UniMovil (UK)@viawebsms.com
Virgin (UK)@vxtras.com
Telekom (DE)@t-mobile-sms.de
Vodafone (DE)@vodafone-sms.de
O2 (DE)@o2online.de
E-Plus (DE)@smsmail.eplus.de
Esendex (AU)@echoemail.net
Telestra (AU)@sms.tim.telstra.com
Optus Zoo (AU) @optusmobile.com.au
UTBox (AU) @sms.utbox.net
Vodafone (NZ) @mtxt.co.nz
Vodafone (NZ)@sms.vodafone.net.nz.com
Telecom (NZ) @etxt.co.nz

Determine Which Activity is Fraudulent

Determining which click activity is fraudulent can be complicated. So, we have provided several guidelines below to help you decide whether or not click fraud is happening on your advertising account.

1. Is this normal click activity?

There are many types of unwanted click activity that you may experience. The first is comparison shoppers. People like to get the best deal possible. This means they will frequently comparison shop between you and your competitors by clicking on your ads numerous times over the course of days or weeks.

Even though comparison shopping is normal activity, you still may wish to track and block it. Example: If you are selling a $15 product, but your clicks are $3 each, 5 clicks from a single shopper would completely negate any profit. So, you might want to warn people with a Level 1 mild alert message after only 2 clicks and block them in after 3 clicks.

Types of abnormal click activity typically involve many clicks over a short period of time from the same IP address. The velocity (speed at which clicks happen) is an important factor. Example: If a single IP address clicks your ad 5 times in 10 minutes, we recommend immediately blocking that person in Google or displaying a Level 3 warning message. Chances are it is a bot or a competitor.

2. Is the IP address the same (or very similar)?

This is going to be the most common way you'll track fraudulent activity. Most competitors who may click on your ads, aren't sophisticated enough to fake (spoof) their IP address, or they don't see the necessity since they aren't intentionally trying to hide their activity. Therefore, this is the #1 piece of information to evaluate.

Look for similar IP address ranges. However, realize that the most important factor is when the first 3 blocks of the IP address are identical and the last 2 to 3 digits of the address are similar or identical. If you see two IP addresses with the same first digits (example: 203.22.11.33 and 203.22.150.33) those are not actually that similar. In the world of IP addresses, those could be on different sides of the world! However, if the entire IP address, including the last 3 digits are very similar, (example: 203.22.11.133 and 203.22.11.136) it could be a sign of click fraud since those addresses are in the same subnet, meaning they are likely to have a similar geographic location.

3. Time Clicked

Most competitors who are intentially clicking on your ads fraudulently don't have all day to click on your website. Yes, they could be sneaky and click once per hour and potentially circumvent your fraud detection. This defeats one of their main purposes though, which is to run up to your daily ad budget and make your ad disappear for the day. It's in their best interest to click early in the day, as many times as possible.

Therefore, most fraudulent activity occurs over a short period of time. If you see the same IP clicking once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening (of the same day), it's more likely a comparison shopper and not your competitor.

4. Cookie ID
PPCSecure places a unique tracking cookie on every device that visits your website. This piece of information becomes very helpful in two main circumstances. The first scenario is if you have different IP addresses but suspect they may be the same person.

Example:

Cookie ID: 34ddd8kiw93kkk4rtIP Address: 111.222.333.230
Cookie ID: 34ddd8kiw93kkk4rtIP Address: 111.222.333.76

Because the Unique IDs are the same, this is positive confirmation that this is the same computer, even if the IP addresses are slightly different.

The second scenario is if you have the same IP address, but different Cookie IDs:

Example:

Cookie ID: 34ddd8kiw93kkk4rtIP Address: 111.222.333.230
Cookie ID: 34fff8kiw9354k4dvIP Address: 111.222.333.230

This can actually mean several things. This could be a single user who used two different browsers or a single user who simply has cookies blocked. This could also be a sign of different computers inside the same house of office all behind the same router or cable modem.

5. Browser

PPCSecure also tracks browser type (i.e. Chrome, FireFox, Internet Explorer). So, if you have the same IP address with two different Cookie IDs and two different browser types, you can usually safely assume it's the same person. If they change from Internet Explorer to Firefox, the Cookie ID will be different.

6. Platform (OS)
This is one more piece of information we use to distinguish your visitors from one another. For instance, if you have the same IP address coming from two platforms (Example: Windows 8 and Windows 7), it could be two different users within an office or home ot the same user from two different computers.

7. Keywords

PPCSecure tracks the keywords people use to find your ads on Google and Bing. NOTE: Google has recently stopped providing keyword data as a result of security concerns. However, wherever possible, we will provide you the keywords used. This might not intially seem like a result that helps to detect fraudulent activity, but consider the following example:

IP Address: 111.222.333.297Keywords: homes for sale Utah
IP Address: 111.222.333.120Keywords: homes for sale Utah
IP Address: 111.222.333.111Keywords: homes for sale Utah
IP Address: 111.222.333.112Keywords: homes for sale Utah

The IP Addresses above are suspicious because they are in the same subnet (entire address same, last three digits similar), but without the Unique IDs being the same, it's hard to tell for sure. If you see suspicious IPs with the same keywords, though, you can begin to believe fraud has occurred. If the above pattern appears within the space of a few hours, you can be nearly certain.

How to Manually Block IP Addresses In Google and Bing

Google AdWords

You can block IP addresses in Google Adwords by using Google's IP Exlusion list. To add an IP address to the list, follow these instructions:

  1. Login to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click on the campaign name you want to edit.
  3. Click the Settings tab.
  4. Scroll down and click on IP Exclusions.
  5. Click Edit next to the text that says "Manage exclusions".
  6. Add the IP address to the list and click Save.

Bing/Yahoo

You can block IP addresses in Bing/Yahoo by using their IP Exlusion list. To add an IP address to the list, follow these instructions:

  1. Login to your Bing Ads account at https://secure.bingads.microsoft.com/signin.
  2. Click on the campaign name you want to edit.
  3. Click the Settings tab.
  4. Scroll down and click on Exclusions.
  5. Add the IP address to the list and click Save.

How to Automatically Block IP Addresses in Google

1. Click "Account" in the upper-right-hand corner and then click "Update Contact Info".

2. Fill in the field that says "Google AdWords Customer ID Number" and click "Update Now". If you aren't sure what your ID number is, you can locate it by logging into adwords.google.com. It's in the upper right-hand corner of AdWords and looks like a phone number (000-000-0000).

3. Our support staff will be notified you wish to link your AdWords account and we will send you a request to allow PPCSecure access to your AdWords. Once we have sent this request, we will email you to let you know. Since this is a manual process, it may take many hours.

4. When you receive the email from us, follow the instructions. Typically, you will visit adwords.google.com, click the Gear icon in the upper right-hand corner. Then click Account Settings, then click Account Access and then click "Approve Request" next to the entry that says PPCSecure.

5. Create a new tracker or edit an existing tracker in PPCSecure. Fill out the field that says "AdWords Campaign ID Number".

6. Scroll down and for each alert level, choose "Yes" or "No" for the field that says "Block IP Address in AdWords". Then click Save or Create button at the bottom of the screen.

Once you've done this, PPCSecure will automatically block the IP address of any person who clicks your ads too many times (as determined by your settings).

How to Request a Refund

1. Make sure your request is reasonable and valid.

A single IP Address clicking your ad 3 times in 24 hours might be considered typical shopping behavior. A single entity clicking your ad 10 times in 48 hours, for instance, may be suspect, and should be investigated and reported to your search engine.

2. Gather Evidence.

You will want to have some information handy when contacting Google. So, here is the evidence you should gather. (All of these items are available by clicking on the suspect IP address in the View Tracker screen of the PPCSecure management console):

  • IP address
  • Cookie ID
  • Time and Date of each click
  • Operating System Used
  • Browser Type
  • Keywords used (if known)

3. Contact Google.

Make sure you use Google's automated case submission process. Here is the process we recommend to use:

a. Visit this link to begin the submission process.

b. Accurately complete each and every field. Pay attention to detail and use proper upper and lower cases and ensure your information is accurate.

c. In the description field, write a detailed description including the evidence you gathered in Step 2. However, try to be concise and do not get emotional or accusatory. Stick to the facts when presenting your case.


How do I cancel my PPCSecure account?

You may cancel at any time with no penalty by sending us a message requesting cancellation using our Contact Form.