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BizReport : Search Marketing : April 23, 2009

Click Forensics: Q1 sees click fraud fall

There is good news and bad news for pay per click marketers and search consumers: the number of click fraud reports are down but click fraud is now beginning to morph. According to the latest research from Click Forensics, Q1 2009 saw click fraud decreased from an all-time high of 17.1% (Q4 2008) to 13.8%.

by Kristina Knight

Also, researchers found a large increase in the percentage of click fraud generated from scripted attacks; click fraud also seems to be morphing a bit. Rather than generating from search engines, click fraud now seems to be migrating in to advertising networks, where it is more difficult to discover and track.

Although the click fraud rate is still above 10%, this decrease is a good sign for search and pay per click marketers. So, why the decrease in overall click fraud?

"It appears that the drop in keyword Cost Per Clicks (CPCs) and the progress Yahoo! and Google made blocking click fraud from botnet sources contributed to the decline in the overall click fraud rate this quarter," said Tom Cuthbert, president of Click Forensics. "However, we also saw an increase in scripted attacks aimed at ad networks, which are historically more vulnerable to such threats. Advertisers should pay close attention to traffic from these sources over the next year."

Tags: Click Forensics, click fraud, paid search, pay per click, search marketing

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