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How I stop Spanish job-seeker leads from Google Ads

The quick way to stop Spanish job-seeker leads from Google Ads.

  1. Don’t advertise on Google search partners.
  2. Don’t advertise on Google Display Network. Both networks are usually responsible for more junk leads than plain old Google search. You’ll find these settings under Campaign -> Settings -> Networks.
  3. Turn off auto-apply. If you allow auto-apply Google will make automatic changes to try improve performance. One of these automatic changes is display expansion. It allows your ads to show on the display network, even if you haven't specifically selected it.
  4. Don’t use Performance Max campaigns for lead generation without taking some precautions. You see, Performance Max campaigns show your ads on search partners and the Google Display Network - 1 and 2 above - which makes them prone to generating junk leads. (More on how to make PMAX campaigns safe for lead generation below.)

Why am I getting Spanish job-seeker leads?

Most Spanish job-seeker spam comes from click fraud. Here's how it works:-

As you can see, job-seeker leads like this get to your inbox without searching Google. That's why adding negative keywords doesn't block them.

A better way to stop Spanish job-seeker leads from Google Ads.

The recommendations above come from my own experience. They've worked well for many years. But, making decisions based on your data is better than relying on mine.

Here's how you can make data-driven decisions about spam leads:-

I built a tool to help with this called GhostBlocker. It stops spam leads from getting to your (or your client's) inbox. And it tells you which ad targeting is generating spam, and which is generating legitimate leads. This helps you make the right decisions when it comes to optimising Google Ads for more legitimate leads.

How to fix performance after a getting spam leads.

If you're using a conversion-based bidding strategy you're at risk of the junk-lead death-spiral.

The death-spiral happens when generating a lead is a primary conversion - used for optimising bids. The bidding algorithm can't tell the difference between a job-seeker and a legitimate lead. Because most junk leads cost less to generate than legit leads, the algorithm ends up optimising for cheap - but junk - leads.

If you don't fix this, more and more of your budget is blown on job-seekers.

If you've received a lot of job-seeker leads, any changes to your ad targeting will probably induce poor performance as the bidding strategy re-learns.

You might be able to shorten the learning time by retracting the job-seeker conversions or using a data-exclusion.

If this doesn't work there are more drastic options:-

The safe way to generate leads using performance max campaigns.

If you want to use a Performance Max campaign for leads, it's vital that you optimise for legitimate leads, not just for anyone who fills in your form.

I've used 2 ways to do this:-

1. Prevent job-seekers and other junk leads from triggering a conversion.

In GhostBlocker - we stop fake leads from ever getting to the thank you page. You're welcome to copy this approach. Here's how it works.

The lead (legit or job-seeker) submits the enquiry form. The fake lead detection software inside GhostBlocker separates legit leads from fakes.

The result ... the bidding algorithm only knows about legit leads and optimises to get more of them.

2. Optimise for qualified leads.

Upload qualified leads as offline conversions and use your qualified lead conversion action as a primary conversion action. In time the algorithm learns from your feedback and gets you better quality leads. I've written more on this here.

Need some help with this?

I offer 1-to-1 mentoring and consulting. You’ll get help, advice, support and answers without having to commit to a long-term contract. Details here.

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