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Click Frauding Botnets On The Rise

Around 16 percent of all advertising clicks were fraudulent over the last three months, according to industry watch-firm Click Forensics. That's about the same percentage as the last two quarters -- but an upclick in the number of fraudclicks coming from botnets indicates that things may be changing.
Around 16 percent of all advertising clicks were fraudulent over the last three months, according to industry watch-firm Click Forensics. That's about the same percentage as the last two quarters -- but an upclick in the number of fraudclicks coming from botnets indicates that things may be changing.The Click Forensics quarterly fraud index for third quarter 2008 looks somewhat reassuring at first glance: the 16.0% overall click fraud rate is actually down an underwhelming but at least measurable .2% from the previous quarter.

Search engine ad pay per click (PPC) fraud continues to occur at a but more than one-in-four rate: for Q4 20098, Click Forensics showed search engine ad PPC fraud at 27.1%. But that's down a full percentage point from a year ago.

It's the increase in botnet-driven click fraud that gives industry watchers pause.

Click Foresnics's findings showed botnet PPC traffic up more than 2 percent over second quarter 2008.

The relative stability in the overall click fraud rates seems to indicate that anti-fraud efforts are at least holding the line.

The rise in botnet PPC presence reminds us that, as with so much else, the line keeps moving.

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