Andy Beal’s Marketing Pilgrim has an exclusive story running that Google AdWords Click Fraud is at or below 2% and that Google has the proof. Andy’s post is incredibly detailed as he runs through Google’s Four Layers of Click Fraud Filters:
Google utilizes four layers of click fraud detection. The first layer is purely automatic and is used to filter clicks from both “search” and AdSense partners (contextual ads). This filter is able to detect invalid clicks in real-time, with the goal of removing them before they ever show up in the AdWords console.
The second and third layers are aimed at filtering only AdSense clicks. The second layer is what Google calls its “flagging system” and is an automatic process to remove invalid clicks from the AdWords system. The third layer of filtering is a “manual review” process with more than two dozen Google employees manually reviewing and removing any suspicious clicks.
Google’s goal is to have the first three layers of filtering identify 100% of all invalid and fraudulent clicks. Those clicks that manage to escape Google’s filters are what causes many advertisers to raise concerns and has spawned the growth of many so-called click fraud detection companies. The fourth layer of click fraud detection falls to these advertisers and detection companies and is what Google calls “requested investigations”.
So, in Q3 of 2006 Google AdWords brought in $2.69 Billion in revenue, does this mean that there was somewhere around $50,000,000 in click fraud committed in Q3 2006 alone?