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BizReport : Search Marketing : January 21, 2010

Report: Q4 click fraud decreased 2% YoY

Although click fraud remains a big concern for online marketers there could be a light on the horizon. ClickForensics has released Q4 2009 numbers, which reveal a decrease of more than 2% year over year; click fraud for the quarter was only 15.3%.

by Kristina Knight

Q4 2008 click fraud was at 17.1%. The 2008 rate was an all-time high. The 2009 number is a slight increase over Q3 numbers (14.1%).

"While the overall industry click fraud rate rose slightly in the fourth quarter, it was the lowest we've seen for this time of the year," said Paul Pellman, CEO of Click Forensics. "This seems to indicate that ad networks, publishers and the search engines themselves are doing a better job catching the click fraud spikes that have become common during the busy search marketing holiday season."

One help is that marketers and advertising networks have become wise to some tricks of the fraudsters trade. Not only are networks and marketers looking at the total number of hits but they are looking at the quality of hits to determine if the traffic arrives from a botnet. By scoring traffic from unsavory sources marketers have a better chance of blocking that traffic in the future or refuting fraudulent charges.

Tags: botnet traffic, Click Forensics, click fraud, fraud rings, traffic quality

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  • As a mid-sized online retailer, dealing with click fraud is a very real part of my business operations. I actually think the numbers reported by Click Forensics are low, especially when another tracker, Anchor Intelligence, is reporting that Q4 click fraud rates were closer to 26 percent. Nevertheless, I've had to adapt my advertising strategy to counter click fraud by using non-CPC/PPC options such as And I'd recommend the site to other retailers who are losing money because of click fraud.



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