Click Fraud Reaches Record LevelBy: Mike Sachoff - January 28, 2009
Click Forensics has released its latest figures on click fraud for the fourth quarter and says it has jumped to the highest level since 2006.
The overall industry average click fraud rate grew 17.1 percent for the fourth quarter of 2008. That’s up from 16.0 percent in Q3 2008 and from 16.6 percent for Q4 2007.
The average click fraud rate of PPC ads appearing on search engine content networks, including Google AdSense and the Yahoo Publisher Network, was 28.2 percent. That’s up from 27.1 percent rate reported for Q3 2008 and down slightly from 28.3 percent for Q4 2007.
Click fraud traffic from botnets rose to its highest level, responsible for 31.4 percent of all click fraud traffic in Q4 2008. That’s an increase from 27.6 percent reported for Q3 2008 and 22 percent reported for Q4 2007.
The largest percentage of click fraud coming from countries outside the U.S. came from Canada (7.4%), Germany (3%) and China (2.3%).
"Based on the data we tracked in Q4 2008, it seems that the online advertising industry is not immune to the growing tide of cybercrime during this recessionary period," said Tom Cuthbert, president of Click Forensics.
"Both the overall click fraud rate and the rate of click fraud originating from botnets were the highest ever in Q4 2008. In addition, we’ve started to see old schemes like click farms reemerge. Advertisers should pay close attention to these types of threats in their online campaigns throughout the year."