Click Fraud Reaches Record Level

By: 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.

BotNet ClickFraud Graph

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."

Mike Sachoff

About the Author

Mike SachoffMike is a staff writer for WebProNews.

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  • Guest

    Which is why PFP is the way to go.

  • Storbyferie Rom

    That is really sad for all the people who earn some good money on Adsense – because it could force the companies to choose another advertising media.

  • Matty Byloos

    This is the kind of get rich quick by scamming others mentality and practice that kills the goose that lays the golden egg, essentially ruining the business for everyone else.

  • Portland Roofer

    for a new online guy with my business, it’s a tough racket trying to figure out a ppc campaign with a limited budget and not a lot of time. knowing about this much click fraud makes me more worried.

  • site

    We are very confident in our system’s ability to detect fraudulent clicks, but we also recognize that our customers–and the industry as a whole–have many questions and concerns about click fraud, especially given the litigation that Yahoo and other search engines have been engaged in over the past few years.

  • Roman

    Indian tech slave labor and bots are killing PPC and Net as a whole. You can buy 200 Facebook accounts, 1000 Twitter accounts, you name it, for just a few bucks.

    CAPTCHA slaves in Indian or wherever quasi tech basements do all the work then the bots take over and what you have is that not a single analytics makes any sense at all.

    I am in an early stage of a click fraud study and simple cannot believe my eyes: the differences in analytics are staggering!!