I. Am. Hilarious. Anchor Intelligence has just released its Q3 09 click fraud data—and it’s down, contrary to what Click Forensics reported for the same period. Anchor saw worldwide click fraud drop almost four percentage points from Q2, to 23.2% of all clicks in Q3.
Interestingly, Anchor found that malicious, “attempted” click fraud had fallen off in this period—dropping from 22.9% of all clicks in Q2 to only 18.6% of all clicks in Q3. Accidental, “innocuous” click fraud rose slightly (0.4 percentage points) to 4.6%. (Anchor measure all attempts at click fraud, not just charged clicks. The labels they use reflect the motivation behind the attempts.) They also noted some geographic shifts in click fraud:
Search Engine Watch says that Anchor also observed click fraudsters getting more creative:
Anchor Intelligence says it did observe more sophisticated click fraud schemes in the third quarter, such as browser hijacking. They also saw an increase in the threats of malicious advertisements in paid search and ads on publisher websites.
Although Anchor’s findings contradict Click Forensics’, CF finds a lower rate of click fraud on the rise (12.7% in Q2 to 14.1% in Q3).
What do you think? Is Click Forensics’ more pessimistic report right, or does Anchor Networks more accurately reflect the state of the industry?