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01|28|2009 05:16 pm EDT

Click Fraud Higher Than Ever Reaching 17.1% in Q4 2008

by Chad Kettner in Categories: News

According to the latest Click Forensics report, industry click fraud reached new heights in Q4 2008 with the average rate growing to 17.1%, up from 16% from Q3 2008.

The company’s reporting service – the Click Fraud Index – monitors and reports on statistically significant industry PPC data collected from online advertising campaigns across all the leading search engines. Some of the key Q4 findings included:

  • Overall industry average click fraud reached a record high 17.1%.
  • The average click fraud rate of PPC advertisments appearing on search engine content networks – including Google Adsense and Yahoo Publisher Network – was 28.2%.
  • Traffic from botnets was responsible for 31.4% of all click fraud traffic.
  • Aside from the US, the countries with the greatest percentage of click fraud included Canada (7.4%), Germany (3%), and China (2.3%).

“Based on the data we tracked in Q4 2008, it seems that the online advertising industry is not immune to the growing tide of cybercrime during this recessionary period,” said Tom Cuthbert, president of Click Forensics. “Both the overall click fraud rate and the rate of click fraud originating from botnets were the highest ever in Q4 2008. In addition, we’ve started to see old schemes like click farms reemerge. Advertisers should pay close attention to these types of threats in their online campaigns throughout the year.”

Click fraud occurs when a person, automated script, or computer program clicks on an advertisement for the purpose of artificially increasing the click-through-rate.

[via TechCrunch]

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2 Comments

wannadevelop.com

January 28, 2009 @ 5:46 pm EDT

Nice article.

I’ve been saying this for years… Domain channel is responsible for A LOT of the click fraud going on. It is so god damn easy to do it !

This is why Google now more than twice seriously considered pulling the plug on it.

Mike

Chris Nielsen

January 29, 2009 @ 4:55 pm EDT

We don’t have to throw the baby out with the bath water, but I have about 1,500 parked domains, so I would say that. But parked domains are not the only problem, just one that is easier for fraudsters at the moment.

What I would have like to have seen in this report is what percentage of the fraud is being caught by Google and others. We know they are getting some, but just how much? Also, since I think some fraudsters are very smart, I think the ClickForensics numbers are LOW from what the reality is. This is not just a feeling, I’ve gone over log files BY HAND and I can see what kind of just is sent to our sites. What I don’t know is how much of this is being caught and filters because the players are so damn secretive about it.

My suggestion? Simple. Offer a flat-rate advertising model like what AdBrite has been offering. You pay for exposure not for clicks. There is still room for click and impression fraud, to make a site “seem” worth advertising on, but in the end, the conversions will tell the tale and eliminate the junk.

Flat-rate advertising baby. You can pay a published amount or bid for placement like with site-targeted is now. Google, NameDrive.com, and Parked.com tell me I’m crazy… I know we may not make as much money from our domains, but it’s worth it to save the industry, IMO. :-)

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