Major Trends in Click Fraud

Click fraud has become a menace in the Internet Marketing Industry. Click fraud is such a simple process that made many ways to mess up the pay-per-click system. The simplest way to do this is your competitor’s will have someone to click on your ads so many times. As a result, you will pay bill to search engines or ad agencies as per number of clicks besides your campaign scope reduced.

In a step to counter click fraud,, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are approved by IAB in search audits for the first time. It is a significant development, as the three major search engines have more than 95% of the search market.

IAB also released Click Measurement Guidelines that explain how to define and evaluate suitable clicks from fraudulent clicks and how to remove fraudulent clicks. These guidelines also provide parameters to the companies for truthful business through Cost-Per-Click advertising.

With the increase of vigilance on click fraud, Q2 fraud rates dropped by 3.5% compared to previous year, according to Click Fraud Index provided by Click Forensics. Q4 of 2008 recorded the highest rate of global click fraud with 17.1%. However, the two quarters of 2009 i.e. Q1 and Q2 have seen a reduction consecutively. Q1 and Q2 of 2009 recorded 13.8% and 12.7% of click fraud respectively.

According to the report, during Q2 2009, Click fraud traffic from sophisticated sources and scripted programs increased. This included growth in publisher collusion fraud on ad networks. In Q1, fraud from malicious scripted programs increased. Unlike botnets or malware, these simple Javascript programs execute on a page view or site visit. Ad networks were especially vulnerable to these attacks during the quarter.

In Q1 2009, Canada, United Kingdom and Germany are the originating countries for major share of click fraud other than U.S.

However, according to Anchor Intelligence, a similar source reported contradicting numbers that depict an increase in click fraud. The report expects 2009 to see more click fraud despite best efforts.

Click fraud is becoming the bane of Internet advertising. The fact that, click fraud may have been as high as $4.35 billion in 2008 if none of the fraud is detected, signifies the urgent need to address the menace. Though some may think that acting against click fraud is against the benefits of search engines, every party involved in the Internet Marketing Industry should do their part to eradicate click fraud.

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