Report Refutes Click Fraud Rates

    April 19, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The pervasiveness of click fraud was at one time estimated (primarily by companies like ClickDefense who sell preventative services) to be as high as 30 percent. But a recent analysis by newly developed Click Fraud Network (CFN) drops the estimated click fraud rate to around 14 percent overall.

If any of the search engines suffer from a high rate of click fraud, says the CFN, it is the Tier 3 engines, with fewer resources devoted to the problem. A click fraud analysis conducted between March 12th and April 9th revealed that Tier 3 engines maintained a threat level of about 30 percent, Tier 2 is slightly less at just over 20 percent.

Tier 1 engines, like Google and Yahoo!, which control around 85 percent of search traffic on the Web, hold a threat level of around 12 percent.

“While this is good news,” writes CFN’s Tom Cuthbert, “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.”

The Click Fraud Network, a free service for advertisers, collects click fraud data to update its Click Fraud Index. It is hosted by PPC validation and technology company Click Forensics.

The Click Fraud Index also reveals that the highest levels of click fraud occur on the weekends after midnight.

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