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Click Fraud Falls In Q4 2010

Click Fraud Falls In Q4 2010

By Mike Sachoff January 26, 2011

The overall click fraud rate in Q4 2010 was 19.1 percent which was lower than the Q3 2010 all-time high of 22.3 percent, but higher than the 15.3 percent rate for Q4 2009, according to the latest report from Click Forensics.

Click Forensics Malware Lab identified a new malware scheme targeting display banner ads. The program performs a pop-up or pop-under and rotates brand advertisers’ banner ads every 10-15 min in an effort to boost impression figures.

 

Massive Click Fraud Ring Shut Down
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One of the largest click fraud rings ever detected, originating from China, has been shut down by click fraud monitoring firm Anchor Intelligence.

"This is really the first time anyone has ever been able to catch click fraudsters ‘in the act.’ Anchor has identified fraudsters down to the publisher site, IPs used (likely via botnets), and even the names and address of some perpetrators," an Anchor spokesperson told WebProNews. 

Milestone Said to Be Reached in War on Click Fraud
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The Interactive Advertising Bureau announced that a significant milestone has been reached in the "war on click fraud." In May, the organization released its Click Measurement Guidelines, and some of the top media companies have already passed the IAB’s audits.

These companies include Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, as well as Business.com. When we think click fraud, the major search engines tend to come to mind, but that is still not the entire picture, obviously.

New Tool Aims To Fight Click Fraud
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Click Forensics has introduced a new tool to help marketers combat click fraud.

The new tool is called "Block List" which provides ad networks with a continually updated list of visitor IP addresses and publishers known to generate online click fraud. Block List can be used with the Click Forensics platform to block invalid traffic and to shift  advertsing dollars to other sources that offer better results.

The Block List tool could help marketers reduce the rate of click fraud between 15 to 25 percent according to Click Forensics.

Facebook Gets Double Dose of Legal Issues
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Facebook is currently involved in a couple of separate lawsuits. One of them involves click fraud and the other involves data portability.

The Click Fraud Suit

Facebook Click Fraud Jumps

There have been numerous complaints from Facebook advertisers about click fraud, which has apparently been ramped up in recent days. Facebook has acknowledged the issue and claims to be doing something about it.

Microsoft Sues Alleged Click Fraudsters
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Reuters and the Wall Street Journal are both reporting that Microsoft is suing three people, accusing them of click fraud. The company apparently filed a complaint on Monday in a US federal Court in Seattle.

IAB Rolls Out Click Measurement Guidelines
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The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced today the release of its Click Measurement Guidelines aimed at establishing accurate buying and selling of cost-per-click advertising.

The guidelines are supported by key industry stakeholders, provide a strong framework for identifying and discarding fraudulent clicks.

The Click Measurement Guidelines:

Click Fraud Rate Declines In Q1
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Click fraud declined in the first quarter of 2009 to 13.8 percent, according to Click Forensics’ Click Fraud Index.

That’s down from the all-time high of 17.1 percent reported for the fourth quarter of 2008 and from the 16.3 percent rate reported for the first quarter of 2008.

Ask Makes Move to Cut Click Fraud

Ask.com has tapped Anchor Intelligence and will use its ClearMark software to score all of its paid search clicks.

The goal of Ask’s partnership with Anchor Intelligence is to protect its advertisers and partners from paying for fraudulent clicks.

Clicks

Companies Collaborate to Define Clicks
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Interactive Advertising BureauThe Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has announced the release of Click Measurement Guidelines, a document establishing parameters for buying and selling cost-per-click (CPC) adver

Click Fraud Reaches Record Level
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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.

How Google Detects Click Fraud
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Even as we approach the end of 2008, click fraud is still something that needs to be dealt with in the search engine advertising industry. Google takes a number of precautions to keep it under control though.

How Search Engines Manage Click Fraud
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In the session "Search Engines on Auditing" the speakers discussed how search engines handle auditing concerns.

Richard Zwicky, Founder & CEO, Enquisite, discussed auditing issues with PPC and how they try to figure out what went wrong.
 
Analytics ecosystem:

Collect

Analyze

Report

Optimize

Monetize

Ways ad networks protect you:

Invalid/discounted clicks

Real time behavior analysis

Proactive filtering

Over-time analysis

Son of Click Fraud: Cookie Stuffing
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A phrase like “cookie stuffing” sounds like it could have only pleasant connotations: Cookie Monster cookie-stuffing his face; ice cream with cookie stuffing; the cream between Oreos. Leave it to a lawyer to run that for everybody.

Google: You’re Not Saving the Rain Forests That Way!
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ForestleForestle is a search engine built on Google Custom Search, with the goal of saving the Rain Forests. That seems like a noble enough cause.

Their methods of going about this, however, have gotten the site’s search functionality revoked by Google. When you try to perform a search on Forestle, you get a big pink box with a message from the Forestle team. The message goes:

Know Your Clicks, Google Says
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Advertising clients who feed Google’s revenue machine may not always know the difference between an illicit click and one that’s outright fraudulent. Google wants them to understand which is which.