Friday, September 25, 2009

Click fraud

I've been watching the rates of click fraud rise and fall over the last year with some suprise. Back in the middle of last year there was an increase in click fraud to 17.1% in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared with the same period in 2007 having 16.6%.

But during 2009 click fraud rates (the percentage of clicks on your adverts that are not genuine customers) have dropped! In fact, they seem to have declined by about 25% over the last reported 6 months to a figure of 12.7%.

What does click fraud mean for the average company that uses Pay Per Click advertising?
It means you're more likely to spend more money for less real traffic!

But why does this happen?
Well there has apparently been an increase in the use of click farms. These are groups of people paid to click on your adverts by:

1. Site owners who want to make more money from their advertising inventory
2. Your competititors who want you to spend more money (or the same money for less real numbers of visitors/customers)

But why would click fraud rates drop in a recession? Are the less scrupulous companies also feeling the pinch and therefore are less likely to be able to afford click farm rates?
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