Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.196.245.74

Forum Moderators: open

Message Too Old, No Replies

Click Fraud Rate Up to 17.1pct in Q4 2008

     
7:58 pm on Jan 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Administrator from GB 

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month

joined:May 9, 2000
posts:22282
votes: 236


Click Fraud Rate Up to 17.1pct in Q4 2008 [news.cnet.com]
Thanks in part to armies of compromised computers, click fraud reached an all-time high in the fourth quarter.

Click fraud lets Web sites increase revenue from ads supplied by services such as Google's AdSense or the Yahoo Publisher Network, though those companies take measures to screen out bogus links so advertisers don't have to pay. But that doesn't stop people from trying, according to a new report from Click Forensics, a company that monitors for click fraud and sells detection services.

"The overall industry average click fraud rate grew to 17.1 percent for the fourth quarter of 2008. That's up from 16.0 percent in the third quarter of 2008 and from the 16.6 percent rate reported for the fourth quarter of 2007," the company said Wednesday.

10:04 pm on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

joined:Sept 8, 2006
posts:1229
votes: 0


whining?

#1 my department actually put thought into our advertisements.

#2 i was not included in any content networks, or affiliate targeting..we were very specific in where our ads went.

#3 when you have the ability to track where your clicks came from and they were all within one regional area...

i would consider that fraud.

oh, and i didnt mention that the region that they were coming from was the same region one of our competitors was located in.

but again... the advertiser we were using said they couldnt help us.

11:52 pm on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 12, 2004
posts:33
votes: 0


I'm curious why people keep saying Google Google Google here when many of us that advertise on multiple search networks know the majority of the problem lies elsewhere.. cyahoough cyahoough... and domain parking distribution partners?
3:00 am on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:May 24, 2002
posts:284
votes: 0


Thanks, powerstar, I appreciate the response. I know if I were an advertiser I'd think differently. That's why I thought I should acknowledge that I'm not. However, you've really not explained why this is such a problem and why you can't just compensate for the click fraud.

personally i don't like anybody stealing from me. I don't think any level of click fraud should be allowed.

Let say i will compensate for the click fraud like you said, can you guarantee me it will stay at 17%?

4:04 am on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:May 30, 2005
posts:430
votes: 0


let me tell you why I personally suspect click fraud to be a huge problem. same keywords, same search engine, same geo-targeting, same times of day - only difference paid ads vs organic SERPS. Organic results net us about a 10% conversion rate, paid clicks only about 1%.

There HAS to be fraud there!

Additionally the majority of paid clicks don't stay more than 1 second where organic visitors tend to stay about 3mins. Only about 30% of the PPC visitors stay more than 1 second.

I'm assuming in reality there is about 70% garbage clicks (fraud + competition + jerks who click ads for no reason + people who accidentally click a link etc.)

5:47 am on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 18, 2005
posts:817
votes: 0


Hmmm. I see a conflict of interest. If there was no click fraud to report, would this organization have anything to do? ;-)

This is like saying if there were no crimes, would we need police? (Granted, police do other things.) There is nothing wrong with organizations seeing a criminal problem and attempting to do something about it.

5:49 am on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 20, 2005
posts:451
votes: 0


purplecape:
"Where's the peril?"

The peril is your account is targetted. That 17.1 % is an average but that your click bot rate is 75%.

5:51 am on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 18, 2005
posts:817
votes: 0


Google should sponsor a free GPL anti-virus / spyware service. Then armies of compromised computers could be protected freely - which would save big money for Google (and a lot of other corporations).

What makes you think a free anti-virus service would work better than any of the others, or that most people would bother to use it? One of the reasons unwanted traffic (spam, click fraud, etc.) has been able to proliferate is because people not only don't run anti-virus code, they expose their computers to compromise by downloading malware, accepting untrusted software from friends, etc.

5:55 am on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 18, 2005
posts:817
votes: 0


Clicks that are the result of poorly written ads and worse targeting are not fraudulent, but I'd guess that more than a few advertisers think they are.

Sure, but how would you tell the difference? Fraudsters can easily mimic any kind of human behavior.

6:04 am on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 18, 2005
posts:817
votes: 0


Personally, I think compromised PC should simply be disconnected by the ISP until it is fixed, especially those used in DOS or spam bot nets, a far worse problem.

You should read NANOG to find out why this is not as easy as you think. Taken to the next level, attempts to disconnect ISPs from the Internet who have not disconnected spammers and other generators of unwanted traffic from their networks have triggered lawsuits.

3:48 pm on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

joined:July 3, 2008
posts:1553
votes: 0


This is like saying if there were no crimes, would we need police?

Not really. Click Forensics isn't the police; it's more like the burglar-alarm company that puts out scary press releases several times a year about people getting robbed, raped, and murdered in their houses.

Click fraud obviously exists, in the same way that impression fraud and waste circulation exist in the offline advertising world, but--unlike TV, newspaper, and magazine advertisers--CPC advertisers can track their ROI and decide empirically whether their advertising expenditures are worthwhile.

4:23 pm on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

joined:Feb 13, 2008
posts:827
votes: 0


Well said, signor_john. The rhetoric in this area is prone to overstatement.
4:37 pm on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 18, 2005
posts:817
votes: 0


Click fraud obviously exists, in the same way that impression fraud and waste circulation exist in the offline advertising world, but--unlike TV, newspaper, and magazine advertisers--CPC advertisers can track their ROI and decide empirically whether their advertising expenditures are worthwhile.

If this is the case, then why do advertisers ask SEs for refunds, and why do the SEs give them (in some cases)? Instead of asking for refunds, they could just reduce their ad spends. Futhermore, the SEs could very well say that from the perspective of the service they render to the advertiser (the HTTP request for a sponsored link returns a redirect to the advertiser's site), it is working in good faith. They cannot guarantee the identity, or intent, of any particular requestor - all they can do is assure that the redirection occurs correctly and in a timely manner. But they have decided that they should issue refunds, and work with companies such as CF to combat fraud. This would suggest that the problem is more serious than can be resolved by merely reducing ad spend.

3:08 am on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:May 24, 2002
posts:284
votes: 0



There are 2 different opinions here:

1. If you are an advertiser you will do anything to stop click fraud and we should not agree to any level of it.

2. If you are a publisher then click fraud is bad but we should learn to live with that and maybe it's not that bad.

Please select your option...

3:25 am on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

Moderator from AU 

WebmasterWorld Administrator anallawalla is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 3, 2003
posts:3701
votes: 3



this is costing Google a lot of money.

How so?

Perhaps the implication is that some advertisers are losing faith in PPC and moving to other ad models?

12:13 am on Feb 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 18, 2005
posts:817
votes: 0


this is costing Google a lot of money.

If you stop to think about it, on top of the resources that are expended to process the clicks to charge for them, Google (and other engines) must apply various techniques to see if there are trends that match actual or presumed fraudulent behavior. For at least some of these clickstreams, they give refunds to advertisers. So at least some of the time, they expend resources in order to refund customers, that is, they spend money in order to lose money. Now it would not make sense for them to do this, unless they felt it was in their best interest to retain customers, who will in the long run make them profitable.

This 45 message thread spans 2 pages: 45
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members