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Lunio|Invalid Click Case Study with Google’s Automated Campaigns

Google’s Smart Shopping Campaigns were one of the preferred campaign types for many e-commerce business owners, although they were updated in July 2022 to a more automated campaign called P-MAX campaigns. Smart campaigns made it easier to manage campaigns, maximize ROAS, and expand reach. On the other hand, as with P-MAX campaigns, IP address exclusion was not possible, and there was growing concern among advertisers about fraudulent clicks. (The concern was particularly pronounced in Europe and the U.S.) In Japan, ad agencies have been concerned about how advertisers would react like “What have you been doing so far? (Were you neglecting to do anything against fraudulent clicks?)” (This is especially true in Europe and the United States.) In Japan, there are many cases where advertising agencies do not introduce solutions to prevent fraudulent clicks, fearing a negative reaction from advertisers. In this blog, I would like to describe how an e-commerce company was able to visualize the status of unauthorized clicks in their smart campaign using Lunio.

This e-commerce business sells confectionery and spends about 3 million yen per month on Google Ads. 14 days of Lunio implementation and monitoring allowed us to visualize the status of fraudulent clicks on each campaign.

Campaign Name Legitimate Suspicious Invalid Invalid Click%
Smart Shopping Campaign 23,209 4,677 3,395 10.9%
Branded Campaign (Brand-A) 23,688 3,097 2,149 7.4%
Branded Campaign (Brand-B) 908 126 29 2.7%
Branded Campaign (Brand-C) 3,546 425 283 6.7%
Generic Campaign (Event-A) 150 13 4 2.4%
Generic Campaign (Event-B) 794 56 24 2.7%
Dynamic Search Ads 1,692 249 194 9.1%

Although branded campaigns and dynamic search ad campaign also had relatively high unauthorized click rates, the smart shopping campaign with the highest number of clicks had the highest invalid click rate at 10.9%. The cost of invalid clicks amounts to about 290,000 yen per month, which means 10% of the monthly advertising cost is wasted due to the clicks.

Automation will continue to accelerate in Google and other ad platforms, but there will naturally be more areas where opacity and freedom in ad operations will be compromised. I believe that by gathering information and responding properly to the issues of the day, we can make more effective use of our precious advertising dollars!

Masaki “Mark” Iino
Founder & CEO