Click Forensics Says Fraud Is Up (Again)

    January 31, 2008

The latest Click Forensics report has arrived, and the company’s data doesn’t look at all encouraging; it states that the overall industry average click fraud rate in 2007’s fourth quarter was 16.6 percent.

Now, we know how this goes.  Click Forensics says click fraud is up, Google says it’s not.  There’s been a sort of running battle between the two for at least the past year.  So, to be blunt, we’re not suggesting that you keep a printed copy of this report beneath your pillow.Click Forensics Says Fraud Is Up (Again)

On the other hand, neither should you ignore the thing.  Tom Cuthbert, the president and CEO of Click Forensics, stated, "[I]t’s more important than ever before for advertisers, publishers, ad networks and search engines to cooperate and share data in order to stem what’s on target to be an even worse problem in 2008."  And suggesting cooperation and sharing is hardly the same as demanding money for a service.

Back to the stats, then.  According to Click Forensics, the overall industry average click fraud rate was 16.2 percent in the third quarter of 2007, and 14.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006, so a definite rise is taking place.

Also, "The average click fraud rate of PPC advertisements appearing on search engine content networks, including Google AdSense and the Yahoo Publisher Network, was 28.3 percent in Q4 2007.  That’s up from the 19.2 percent average click fraud rate for the same quarter in 2006 and 28.1 percent for Q3 2007."

Do what you will with that info, folks, but we’d encourage at least a day or two of hand-sitting to let Google respond.