Click Fraud Lower on Major Search Engines Shows CF Index
The Click Fraud Index shows that the overall, industry-wide average click fraud rate is 13.7 percent. The click fraud rate at top-tier search engines such as Google and Yahoo is even less, at 12.1 percent, the data show. The rate rises to 21.3 percent at so-called Tier 2 search providers and 29.8 percent at Tier 3 search companies, according to the Index.
On one level this is a smart marketing strategy by CF detection firm Click Forensics for its own products. But the establishment of such a third-party index is a good thing for the industry because it will make the CF issue more “transparent” and should instill greater confidence in search-engine marketing overall.
However, the exposure of this data and the contrast between so-called Tier 1 and Tier 2/3 will have an uncertain impact on marketers. Logic might suggest an exodus from Tier 2/3; but while Tier 1 delivers more quality and less CF but it costs more too.
Greg Sterling is the founding principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, a consulting and research firm focused on online consumer and advertiser behavior and the relationship between the Internet and traditional media, with an emphasis on the local marketplace.