Google AdWords Click To Call Phone Fraud?

Feb 8, 2012 • 9:07 am | comments (2) by | Filed Under Google Ads (AdWords)

Click To Call Phone FraudA WebmasterWorld thread has an advertiser of Google AdWords claiming his click to call campaign is receiving invalid or fraudulent calls.

He said all of a sudden he is receiving an unusual spike in call activities all with no chance on converting those calls. He is wondering if this is a form of invalid clicks or click fraud.

The advertiser wrote:

I've been happy with bid-to-call. It's super cheap and some of the calls are good. Most are not potential customers, but that is true for clicks, too. That's part of doing business. Overall bid-to-call has been a good thing.

However....a couple of the AdGroups I had it on started getting a bunch of calls. These were low activity AdGroups, and there were most calls than clicks (normally the ratio is about a hundred clicks for every call). The calls were under 30 seconds, so Google does not charge us for them. I am not worried about the cost from Google. I am worried about the labor cost for my client who has to answer the phone. Too many of these low quality calls becomes a nuisance.

To remedy this, I paused the AdGroups that were generating these calls (at least, according to Google these AdGroups were generating a lot of calls.) After pausing, there were zero clicks. But the calls continued to come in! Google still reports under 30-second calls from these two AdGroups!

Is this a new form of spam or fraud? After worrying about fraudulent clicks for years am I now going to have to worry about fraudulent calls.

Have you seen this before? Is it fraud? It is a bug in Google reporting? Is it a bug where your phone number is being listed ion the wrong ad?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld .

Image credit to ShutterStock for phone icon.

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