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Is Click Fraud a Tired Topic?


Click Forensics has issued a new click fraud report, claiming the rate has increased to 15.8% compared from 14.1% last year.

Until this announcement, it appeared the debate had died, mostly due to greater transparency from Google and Yahoo about click fraud. Still, Click Forensics has a living to make, hence the need for more reports – this time claiming the increase is due to increased botnet activity.

I almost didn’t cover the news, but I just had to share Google’s response with you…

“These estimates continue to count clicks Google does not charge to advertisers as fraudulent, so they are not actually click fraud estimates. Furthermore, their estimates have never reflected the invalid click rates we see at Google. It is also worth nothing that in all of 2007, only two advertisers have contacted us regarding click fraud data from Click Forensics, and in both cases we found that the suspicious activity was not charged for in the first place.”

Google = 1

Click Forensics = 0

  • http://www.favbrowser.com Favorite Web Browser

    I actually love to read about click fraud, not because I love click fraud, but because I know how to control it and how other companies poorly controls that :-)

  • http://www.textadsearch.com/ TextAdSearch

    Click fraud will be reported as long as PPC exists.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Google goes CPA. In fact they have already. The only way to eradicate click fraud is not to charge per click.

  • http://www.bruceswedal.com Bruce Swedal

    PPC will eventually evolve to a better system of traffic tracking. Which will help click fraud decline in its present form.

  • http://www.favbrowser.com Favorite Web Browser

    Maybe yes, maybe no.

    Depends on networks.

    I’ve seen fraud which looks like a 100% natural traffic, so some low tech networks just keeps paying for it. I also some some ways where even big G still pays for that fraud.

  • Churchill

    Surely there is a huge market of “low scale clickfrauders” whom are clicking on their own site, every so often, from different computers! It must be happening, and not everyone can be getting caught. Please explain how I may be wrong?

  • http://www.favbrowser.com Favorite Web Browser

    Some “pro thiefs” are making more than x10000 USD per month from click fraud…

  • http://omadsense.com Omadsense

    Click fruad – well, i’ve cut back my use of adwords becuase it seems that if google is not jacking up the price – the clicks are irrevelant [ little sales] . most may blame my short sales on my sales picth – but my free vistors who come from other sources – buy and a much higher rate…….?

  • Publicz

    Major problem is not click fraud but inexperienced net users unintentionally clicking on the PPC ads, only impulsive buy items sell when a user unintentionally clicks on a link.

    It took about 3 years for banner advertisers(large ad agencies before 2001 crash) to realize this how long it will take PPC advertisers (mostly small biz) to realize this? one more year perhaps……

  • http://www.study-habits.com/study-guide.html Study Guide

    Nothing new really. It still depends mainly on what type of business you’re running. Some have a lot of CF to deal with, while others have almost none.

  • Pingback: PPC Hero : Click Fraud, Invalid Clicks and Everything In Between

  • http://gregbo.livejournal.com/ CPCcurmudgeon

    A few thoughts:

    OK, suppose the clicks that ClickForensics are reporting aren’t
    fraudulent. But they’re not converting, either (at least to the
    satisfaction of the advertisers they represent). Something out there
    is clicking, but not providing revenue to those advertisers. How long
    will the advertisers continue to pay for these nonconverting clicks?

    If Google, Yahoo, etc. truly have technology that can detect almost
    all invalid clicks (fraudulent or not), this technology would be
    capable of detecting all other types of invalid (unwanted) traffic,
    such as spam, phishing, stuffed All-Star ballot boxes, etc. So let’s
    see these companies’ software adapted to solving these problems.

    I have long argued that PPC is vulnerable to click fraud because of
    how the underlying Internet architecture works. People ignored me,
    said I didn’t “get it”, etc. But it seems that some people
    who actually understand Internet architecture
    actually agree with
    me.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @CPCcurmudgeon – if the clicks aren’t fraudulent, then shouldn’t we also look at the quality of the advertiser’s web site? Surely they may have more to blame than the traffic Google sends.

  • http://gregbo.livejournal.com/ CPCcurmudgeon

    Andy,

    The advertisers make complaints such as “I shouldn’t have to pay for
    the same user who comes to my site multiple times.” There seems to be
    little acknowledgement in the search engine/ad network industry that
    determining whether “the same user” is accessing a site cannot be done
    reliably, in all circumstances. This is very well understood
    among members of the technical Internet community. This is another
    flaw of PPC. Paying by fixed fees would alleviate the problem. I am
    looking forward to the day when all the engines and networks offer a
    variety of payment models as options, so advertisers can best budget
    for the type of traffic they’re getting.