In this article we explain why Spanish speaking jobseekers are clicking on your ads and applying for jobs via your leads form, why this is wasting your ad budget, and how to stop these fake clicks.
What is click fraud?
Before we explain why you’re getting fake clicks from Spanish speaking jobseekers, let’s ensure we have a general understanding of click fraud.
Typically, click fraud works like this:
- A scammer creates a genuine looking website, contacts an ad network like Google Ads or Microsoft Ads, and opens a publisher advertising account. This allows him to place other people’s adverts on his website.
- The scammer hires a programmer to create a click fraud bot. This bot will be created using a bot framework like puppeteer-extra and its stealth plugin. To ensure it closely resembles a normal internet user, it will use a residential proxy service to ensure it has a new IP address every time it visits the scammer’s website. Additionally, it will randomise its device fingerprint so it appears to be a unique device.
- Instead of waiting for real people to visit his website, the scammer uses the click fraud bot to generate thousands of fake visits every day, with a percentage of the visits resulting in ad clicks. For each of the clicks, the advertiser pays a fee to the ad network, which then shares the money with the scammer.
There’s another common click fraud technique known as retargeting click fraud, but for the purpose of this article, the main point to understand is scammers are creating websites, putting ads on them, generating fake clicks on the ads, and earning a fortune in the process.
Why am I receiving ad clicks from Spanish speaking jobseekers?
This is a twist on the typical click fraud process, and shares many similarities with click arbitrage.
The most common version of the scam works like this:
- A scammer creates a genuine looking website, contacts Google Ads, and opens a publisher advertising account.
- He creates a Spanish TikTok video, promising high paying, no-skills-required jobs for Spanish speakers in the US. The video directs people to a website owned by the scammer. The website displays ads, typically local ads. The adverts have nothing to do with jobs for Spanish speakers. They’re just normal ads for various products and services.
- The Spanish speakers, not understanding it’s a scam, click on the ads, find the leads form on the advertisers’ websites, and apply for non-existent jobs.
The problem for advertisers is threefold:
- The advertisers have to pay for the fake clicks. This can be significant, depending on the industry and location.
- The job applications waste time and resources, and can be a source of confusion for advertisers.
- Since the clicks are real clicks from real people, albeit on a scammer’s website, Google considers them valid and won’t issue refunds.
How to prevent ad clicks from Spanish speaking jobseekers?
The good news is it’s easy to avoid fake clicks from Spanish speaking jobseekers, and as a side effect, reduce your overall click fraud exposure.
The scammer’s website shows ads from Google’s display network, so if you switch off the display network, your ads will no longer appear on his website.
We generally advise our clients to avoid all display networks, as they have an unacceptably high level of bots and low quality clicks.
To turn off Google’s display network, open your ad campaign in the Google Ads website, click Settings, then Networks, and uncheck “Include Google Display Network”.
If you’re using Performance Max, you should try to switch to a standard shopping campaign, otherwise Google will continue showing your ads on the display network.
Click fraud scammers are using TikTok videos to trick naive Spanish-speaking jobseekers to click on your ads and apply for non-existent jobs. This wastes your ad budget, time and resources, and can be a source of confusion.
To prevent ad clicks from Spanish speaking jobseekers, and other forms of click fraud, simply disable Google’s display network.