12:45 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell

Click Fraud Rises As Economy Sinks

Fake clicks on ad links are climbing as fast as the economy falls,up a full percentage point in the last three months of 2008, according to pay per click monitoring company Click Forensics.

Fake clicks on ad links are climbing as fast as the economy falls,up a full percentage point in the last three months of 2008, according to pay per click monitoring company Click Forensics.The Click Forensics figures for Q4 pay-per-click (PPC) advertising show a phony ad-click rate that grew to 17.1%, up from 16% in Q3.

And the con-click rate is even higher for search engine ads:

Fake clicks on search engine PPC ads hit 28.2%, up, again more than a full point from Q3's 27.1%; down a hair, though, from 2007 Q4's 28.3%.

Botnets are driving a fair amount of the clicks: 31.4% of fraudulent PPC clicks come from bots, up from 27.6% in Q3, and way up from 2007's Q4 click fraud rate of 22%.

There's some indication that click farms are being cultivated again: paid clickers paid to click pay-per-click banners to pop the ad's numbers.

If your business buys PPC advertising, pay extra attention to click through rates. And be wary of them.

Click Forensics has a Click Fraud Index here.

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