Reducing Spam by 95% on Google Ads Performance Max Campaigns

Reducing Spam by 95% on Google Ads Performance Max Campaigns

Lately we experienced a ton of spam on our Google Ads Performance Max campaigns. We had fake clicks, bad leads, an exceptionally high click-through rate, plus a ton of leads & contact forms that were in broken english and were looking for jobs. After diving deep into the issue, we've identified the cause and reduced our spam by 95%. Hope this helps you too:

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The Secret Setting

Step 1: Identifying the Problem

In Google Analytics 4, our traffic sources report revealed an inconsistency. The “cross-network” traffic (associated with Performance Max campaigns) showed visitors from countries we hadn't targeted in our Google ads setting.

Step 2: Navigating to the Solution in Google Ads

Head to: campaign -> settings -> campaign settings -> locations. Under 'location options', change the default setting from "Presence or interest: People in, regularly in, or who've shown interest in your targeted locations (recommended)" to: "Presence: People in or regularly in your targeted locations". Save your changes.

Step 3: Witness the Change

After this change we saw almost all spam leads gone.

Additional Tip (But Not As Important As The One Above)

Refining Your Campaign’s Asset Group
For further optimization, in your campaign, select “asset group.” Here, under “audience signal”, refine "custom segments," "your data," "interests & detailed demographics," and "demographics". Start lean, and add more options gradually based on results.

In summary, ensuring the proper setup and ongoing maintenance of your Google Ads can keep spam at bay and elevate your campaigns' success.

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