Competitors clicking on ads, bot traffic and click farms are just some of the ways click fraud drains your ad spend. Proactively identifying and blocking this traffic can improve your ad reach and help you grow your business faster. The simplest way to do this in Google Ads is to add IP addresses to your exclusion list, prohibiting traffic from those IP addresses from viewing ads.
Which IP addresses should I exclude?
Without a trusted anti-fraud tool in place, it is hard to know which IP addresses are sources of invalid traffic. Unfortunately, neither Google Ads nor Google Analytics provides this level of visibility.
The first step to identifying IP addresses for exclusion is to set up a 3rd party tool that will allow you to view the IP addresses of your ad engagement, or establish some way of checking your web server logs. This may sound complex but with TrafficGuard you can get set up very easily without the need for coding or development.
TrafficGuard Protect PPC gives you granular visibility of your traffic quality and depending on your budget you might even get it for free.
Learn more: Finding IP addresses for exclusion using TrafficGuard’s free fraud protection
How do I manually exclude IP addresses in Google Ads?
- Sign in to Google Ads
- In the menu on the left, click Settings
- You will now see a list of all campaigns across your account. Select the one you would like to exclude an IP address from
- Click Additional settings to see the IP address exclusions option
- Click to expand the IP exclusions section
- Enter the IP addresses that you want to exclude from your campaign
- Click Save
NB: If you want to block IP addresses from multiple campaigns, you will need to follow these steps for each campaign on your account.
How do I remove IP addresses from the exclusion list?
Why would you want to remove IP addresses from the exclusion list? Well, IP addresses are rarely fixed to individual users, so you want to only apply the exclusion for enough time to prevent the invalid activity and reevaluate from time to time or else you risk blocking real customers. Additionally, with Google’s limit of 500 IP addresses, you will need to occasionally remove IP addresses in order to add new ones. To remove IP addresses from the exclusion list:
- Follow steps 1-4 (above)
- Remove any IP address exclusions that you don’t want to apply
- Click Save
With Protect Pro PPC, you don’t need to worry about updating your exclusion list. It uses sophisticated algorithms to determine which IPs to prioritise, ad and remove to keep your ads protected from fraud.
Limitations of manually blocking IP addresses
Manual IP address exclusion management is a great way to get a basic level of protection for your Google Ads budget but it does have its limitations, including:
- Timing: If you are only checking your traffic quality daily, or weekly, you will almost certainly be receiving invalid traffic in the interim
- Labour intensive: Tedious nature of updating blacklists of every individual campaign takes you away from tasks that could generate more value
- Exclusion list size: Google Ads allows excluding up to 500 IP addresses, which makes it crucial to ensure that they represent the biggest threats at any point in time
Overcoming the shortfalls of manual IP address exclusions with automated ad fraud protection
Is there a better way to deal with ad fraud than spending your time updating your exclusion list? Absolutely – Real-time fraud protection takes care of all of your exclusion list maintenance in Google Ads, including list removals to ensure that you are protected from the more current threats to your advertising.
- Real-time protection: Where manual exclusion management means your campaigns could be receiving that bad traffic for weeks or months before it is excluded, TrafficGuard adds exclusions as soon as threats are identified ensuring fraud is actively prevented
- Reliable prevention: TrafficGuard relies on data captured from billions of advertising engagements every day. This intelligence is used to determine sources of invalid traffic quickly and reliably without real traffic being caught in the crossfire
- Save time on manual exclusions: Trust TrafficGuard to handle the management of your exclusion list so that you can focus on improving your ad reach and growing your business