Click fraud is substantially increasing along with search marketing spends according to a study released by Click Forensics today which looks at paid search click fraud figures for the fourth quarter 2007. The study shows a sharp difference between the click fraud rates of search and contextual advertising, along with numbers on click fraud associated it botnets.
The click fraud numbers are compiled by the Click Fraud Network, a group which more than 4,000 online advertisers and agencies have joined. The Click Fraud Network provides paid search data collected from campaigns for various sized companies along the major search engines.
Key findings from report for Q4 2007 include:
- The overall industry average click fraud rate rose to 16.6 percent for Q4 2007. That’s up from the 14.2 percent click fraud rate for the same quarter in 2006 and 16.2 percent for Q3 2007.
- The average click fraud rate of PPC advertisements appearing on search engine content networks, including Google AdSense and the Yahoo Publisher Network, was 28.3 percent in Q4 2007. That’s up from the 19.2 percent average click fraud rate for the same quarter in 2006 and 28.1 percent for Q3 2007.
- The 2007 industry average click fraud rate grew by 15 percent over the industry average click fraud rate for 2006.
- Q4 2007 click fraud traffic from botnets was 15 percent higher than click fraud traffic from botnets in Q3 2007.
- In Q4 2007, the greatest percentage of click fraud originating from countries outside North America came from India (4.3 percent) Germany (3.9 percent) and South Korea (3.7 percent).
“In 2007 we saw a significant jump in the industry average click fraud rate when compared with the average rate for 2006,” said Tom Cuthbert, president and CEO of Click Forensics. “As the FBI and USAToday have reported, fraudsters are using more sophisticated means to perpetrate click fraud, including infiltrating mom-and-pop e-commerce sites. As a result it’s more important than ever before for advertisers, publishers, ad networks and search engines to cooperate and share data in order to stem what’s on target to be an even worse problem in 2008.”