Insight into the Jump in Click Fraud

This morning, Click Forensics released the Click Fraud Index numbers for Q4 2008.  The overall rate jumped to 17.1%.  This means that across our community of advertiser data, we find that one out of every six clicks are invalid and not worth paying for.  There were three factors that drove the increase. [caption id="attachment_303" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Source: Click Fraud Index"][/caption] First, the increase lines up with past increases in Q4, somewhat of a seasonal bump.  This year however, was magnified by the economic downturn and a correlating increase in cybercrime.  I wrote about this last week. Secondly, there was a 14% increase in the botnet rate, surpassing 30% for the first time.  There have been quite a few reports from McAfee, Symantec and others noting a similar trend.  Botnet attacks are becoming more sophisticated and difficult to stop. Finally, for the first time in awhile, we saw an uptick in click farm activity.  Unfortunately, there lots of sites that pay people to click on ads.  This type of activity is difficult to catch and unfortunately, advertisers lose when this occurs. While the jump is alarming, there is a growing current of cooperation to address the problem.  At Click Forensics, we continue to work with advertisers, agencies and ad providers to build solutions to ensure advertisers get what they pay for.   Coverage of the news can be found here:





New York Times 

Search Engine Land 

Search Engine Watch