FAQ

Why should I sign up with ppcsafe.com?

You have a lot of money at risk in your PPC ad budget. ppcsafe.com offers you a way to detect abuse of your ad budget, and therefore to protect it.

How much does it cost?

The monthly fee is currently $29.95, about the cost of one to three clicks on a well-placed PPC ad for most users. Your first 14 days after sign-up are free, and you can cancel automatic renewal at any time. There are extra fees for users with unusually high usage patterns.

How do I keep track of what is going on?

You receive emails and/or SMS text pages whenever too many clicks on your ad(s) come from the same computer. You can configure how many clicks are “too many”. You can also download a report whenever you like. The report lists all the excessive clicks with their IP address, the date and time of the click, and the geographic region and other available identity information about the IP address. When it is detectable, the identity of the PPC ad provider that generated the page containing the ad is listed. For example, a Google AdWords ad’s click would list Google as the source of the ad. You can download your reports in HTML and in CSV formats. The CSV format is suitable for importing into your own spreadsheet or database for further analysis and reporting.

Can you tell automatically Google or my other PPC provider to block offending IPs?

Yes, for Google AdWords. During the set up process on our site, you log into your AdWords account and give us permission to access your AdWords account. You can revoke this permission at any time. While the permission is active, we can automatically block offending IPs for ads in your AdWords account.

For Microsoft BingAds, you can block IP addresses manually but BingAds does not currently allow automatic blocking of IP addresses. It does allow blocking of URLs up to the third level (e.g., sales.example.com but not east-coast.sales.example.com), and our blocking software can do this for your automatically.

How do you protect the privacy of my information?

All communications with us are encrypted with the https protocol and our computer servers employ standard methods for protection from cyberattack. Further confidentiality is available if you choose to have us encrypt the bodies of our emails to you with your GnuPG public asymmetric key. This provides “end-to-end” encryption so that only you can decrypt our email to you.

What if I don’t like the service?

Your first month is free if you signed up with a coupon. Otherwise, the first 14 days are free. After that, you may cancel the automatic monthly renewals whenever you like. Your service will then stop at the end of the month during which you cancel renewals.

How do I know that your service is doing what it promises?

You can test the service by using the Landing Pages/Test Landing Pages, which provides a link for each landing page that includes the “ppctest=” parameter in its link to your web page. When a click comes in with that parameter, it will be added to your reports with the Source marked “test” and will also appear on the Test Landing Pages page. You can test the service from any other web page by constructing an URL to your landing page that includes “ppctest=some-value”. If the clicks are not being logged, you may want to check to make sure that the correct PPCPal code snippet was inserted on your landing page.

How do I start tracking a new page on my web site?

After you sign up with us, see the instructions here.

What if I want to track keywords and other metrics of my campaigns?

Please contact us to let us know of your interest. We are keeping ppcsafe.com as simple as possible, but if there is interest we can easily add tracking of keywords and other metrics. At this time, all parameters (including keywords) that you include in your PPC ad provider’s URL to your landing page will be available to you on a click-by-click basis in the reports you download in CSV format. You can then import them into your favorite spreadsheet for aggregation and analysis.

What can I do about users who try to hide their tracks?

We use special methods to detect abusive users even when they try to hide their tracks. Please contact us with a description of your website to learn how our methods can be best tailored to your situation.

Can I get the street address or exact physical location from an IP address?

In short: No. We purchase our geolocation information from MaxMind using their most detailed dataset. There are services that offer to give street addresses for specific IPs but when we’ve asked for details on how they do it, we get crickets in response. If you provide such a service, do contact us!
For those who like technical details, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are assigned blocks of IP addresses, and they then assign them to individual addresses. Most users have “dynamic” IP addresses that change every time their modem (which connects their home networks to the Internet) re-connects to the ISP’s network connection. There is no way to connect those IPs with street addresses without access to the ISP’s logs of connections at a given time. Some users have “static” IP addresses that don’t change, but only the ISP knows which user is connected to which IP and the assignments can change without notice to anyone outside the ISP’s organization.
Also, it is important to note that the “latitude” and “longitude” can reflect where the ISP is, not where the user is. So even that isn’t necessarily helpful.