Study: Click fraud drops slightly in Q4

After hitting a record in the third quarter, click fraud dropped but remains a big problem, according to Click Forensics

After hitting an all-time high in the third quarter of 2010, click fraud incidence dropped last quarter, although the practice still rendered almost one in five cost-per-click (CPC) ads useless for the marketers that paid for them.

After hitting a record rate of 22.3 percent in the third quarter, incidence fell to 19.1 percent in the fourth quarter, according to Click Forensics, a provider of click-fraud detection services and products that has conducted quarterly click-fraud studies since 2006. Still, year on year, the click fraud rate was higher than the 15.3 percent rate in 2009's fourth quarter.

CPC is the most popular format of online ads, accounting usually for between 45 percent and 50 percent of all online ad spending, but click fraud dilutes the effectiveness of these ads.

CPC ads are typically short text ads that are matched to topically similar search-engine results and Web pages. Advertisers only pay for these ads when someone clicks on them.

Sellers and distributors of this type of ad share commissions with publishers that carry these ads on their sites. In the first half of 2010, U.S. marketers spent about US$5.7 billion on CPC ads, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Google is the leading seller and distributor of CPC ads.

Click fraud occurs when someone clicks on a CPC ad by mistake. It also happens when these ads are clicked on maliciously, usually by rogue Web publishers seeking to drive up their commissions.

As has been the case for a while, most malicious click fraud in the fourth quarter was carried out through automated botnets, although fraudsters are starting to target display ads to inflate their impression volume and thus the commissions publishers receive, Click Forensics said.

Tags advertisingClick Forensicssecurityinternetfraud

Recommended

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?