Click Fraud Network Update

Since the launch of Click Fraud Network on March 1st, the Network has grown rapidly.  Literally hundreds of of the top advertisers in the pay per click space have joined and we are adding members daily.  This is important for two reasons:  First, click fraud continues to be a serious problem.  A recent CNET article noted that despite the proposed settlement with Google, click fraud is not going to go away anytime soon.  Secondly, there is strength in numbers.  As our Network builds, so will the clout of our members in working towards solutions.  As I have pointed out for some time, the problem of click fraud is bigger than one company or search provider… it is an industry wide issue.

I want to take a moment and provide you some feedback from the Click Fraud Index and share some recent updates.  The overall “high threat level” click rate is leveling off.  As the number of advertisers increases in the Network, we are seeing this number settle down to around 14% of all clicks from all categories.  Tier 1 search providers have a significantly lower threat level than those in Tiers 2 and 3.  This would make sense because they have more internal resources to focus on the problem.  While this is good news it still means that click fraud could account for over $750,000,000 in 2006.  The search providers simply do not have the data available to resolve this issue.  There is a growing call for an independent third party to validate clicks in the same way the Nielsen, Arbitron and the ABC exist in traditional media.  We will be commenting more on this topic in the coming weeks.

Another interesting development has been the spyware issues relating to affiliates sites as pointed out by Ben Edelman.  (His comprehensive studies have validated what we have been watching for a long time)  Affiliate networks can be a risky place to advertise without a monitoring tool in place.  This issue will grow more complex as time goes by and technologies advance.  The exposure and opportunity for click fraud using spyware, bots and organized “clickers” is a real threat that is increasing daily.

We are thrilled by the response to the Click Fraud Network and that so many of you are taking advantage of our CF Analytics tool, offered to advertisers at no charge.  I hope you will encourage others to “Join the Network”

Plan to visit us at the upcoming AdTech show in San Francisco April 26th to 28th.  We are exhibiting at booth #6366.  I am also looking forward to being part of the Click Fraud panel discussion lead by Jessie Stricchiola on Thursday April 27th at 3:15 PM.  I hope to see you all there for some lively discussion!

Best regards,