It’s kind of hard for me to report on Click Forensics without being biased–I’ve long maintained that click fraud will simply be one of many "costs" associated with paid search and is therefore a non-issue. So, you should keep that bias in mind, when reading the following:
Click Forensics’ reports may put them out of business.
Maybe I’m being extreme, but when Click Forensics first launched its Click Fraud Index, it was able to report on massive amounts of click fraud and likely attract many new clients as a result. Four years on, I hardly ever hear anyone–outside of Click Forensics–claim click fraud to be a major issue–and the latest index suggests the same.
For the second straight quarter–and year over year–the click fraud rate declined:
The overall industry average click fraud rate was 12.7%. That’s down from 13.8% for Q1 2009 and from the 16.2% rate reported for Q2 2008.
Of course, that would be bad news for any company that has a business model based on preventing click fraud, so we get some FUD thrown in…
…increasingly sophisticated attacks, such as publisher collusion fraud, continue to be a concern. Ad networks should pay close attention to such threats in the coming months.
The report goes on to suggest that Click Forensics is discovering "new click fraud schemes" such as…
Publisher collusion fraud was one example. This scheme occurs when online publishers use rotating IP-addresses or botnets to click ads on their own sites in order to generate inflated commissions from unprotected ad networks.
Really? You’re just discovering that? That’s been around as long as click fraud itself has. Me thinks you might be grasping at straws (at best) or trying to spread some fear (at worst).
What do you think? Has the click fraud rate really dropped? Has click fraud become more sophisticated and thus more difficult to track?
Let’s hear your own bias!