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.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags fraudinternetadvertisingClick Forensics

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

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?