Stop Spammers Cold: Secure Your Forms While Running Google Ads

Stop Spammers Cold: Secure Your Forms While Running Google Ads

Running Google Ads is a powerful way to drive traffic and generate leads, but it often comes with an unwanted side effect: spam form submissions. Spammers use automated bots to fill out your forms with fake data, wasting your resources and skewing your analytics. Spammers will target your website contact forms while you are running ads on Google or other platforms, significantly increasing the cost of your advertising efforts. Fortunately, there are effective strategies to protect your forms from these nuisances. Here’s how you can stop spammers cold and keep your forms secure while running Google Ads.

1. Implement CAPTCHA 

One of the most effective ways to deter bots is by using CAPTCHA. This system requires users to complete a simple test that is easy for humans but difficult for bots. Google reCAPTCHA, for instance, is widely used and offers both visible and invisible options to suit your form’s design and user experience needs.

2. Use Honeypots

Honeypots are invisible fields added to your form that are hidden from human users but visible to bots. If a bot fills out the honeypot field, it flags the submission as spam. This method is seamless for genuine users as they won’t even notice the additional field.

3. Enable Email Verification 

Requiring email verification adds an extra layer of security. When a user submits a form, they receive an email with a verification link. Only after clicking the link is the form submission considered valid. This step ensures that the email address provided is real and belongs to the person filling out the form.

4. Employ Form Validation and stop spam emails

Form validation helps ensure the data entered is in the correct format. For example, you can set fields to accept only properly formatted email addresses or phone numbers. This won’t stop all bots but can filter out some spam by rejecting improperly formatted data. Additionally, implement word filters to block common spam phrases. For instance, you can filter out words like “Viagra,” “free money,” “click here,” and “special offer,” which are often used by spammers. Regularly update your filter list based on the spam submissions you receive to keep up with new spam trends.
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5. Monitor and Adjust Ad Targeting

Spammers often exploit broad-targeted ads. Narrow your audience targeting in Google Ads to reach more relevant users. Use negative keywords and geographic targeting to minimize exposure to regions known for high spam activity. For example, exclude locations known for a high incidence of spam traffic and irrelevant audiences that may attract spammers.

6. Analyze Traffic and Form Submissions

Regularly analyze your traffic and form submissions for patterns that indicate spam. Look for commonalities in IP addresses, email domains, or form submission times. Use this data to create filters and block suspicious activity. For example, block submissions from specific IP addresses or countries that have high incidences of spam. Pay close attention to unusual spikes in form submissions or repeated patterns that suggest automated activity. This proactive approach can help you identify and mitigate spam before it inflates your advertising costs.

7. Utilize Third-Party Spam Filters

Several third-party services specialize in filtering spam from form submissions. These tools use advanced algorithms and databases of known spam behaviors to keep your forms clean. Popular options include Akismet and CleanTalk. These services can automatically detect and filter out spam submissions before they reach your inbox, saving you time and ensuring cleaner data.

8. Limit Form Submissions

Set a rate limit on how often a user can submit a form. This method can prevent bots from bombarding your form with multiple submissions in a short period. Implementing a limit such as one submission per minute can significantly reduce spam. Ensure that legitimate users are not affected by this limit by setting a reasonable threshold.

9. Secure Your Website

Ensure your entire website, including the form pages, uses HTTPS. This encryption helps protect data transmitted between the user’s browser and your server, reducing the risk of interception and misuse by malicious entities. Regularly check your site for vulnerabilities and apply security patches promptly.

10. Stay Updated

Keep your form software and plugins up to date. Developers regularly release updates that address security vulnerabilities and improve spam protection. Regular updates help ensure you have the latest defenses against new spam techniques. Set up automatic updates if possible, or regularly schedule manual checks to keep your software current.


Stopping spammers from filling out your forms while running Google Ads requires a multi-faceted approach. By implementing CAPTCHA, using honeypots, enabling email verification, employing form validation, and monitoring your traffic, you can significantly reduce spam submissions. Additionally, leveraging third-party spam filters, limiting form submissions, securing your website, and staying updated with the latest security measures will further protect your forms. With these strategies in place, you can focus on generating genuine leads and making the most of your Google Ads investment, without the inflated costs caused by spammers.