Industry Click Fraud Rate Climbs to Highest Level Reaching 17.1 Percent in Q4 2008

Click Fraud Traffic from Botnets Breaks New Barrier Growing to 31.4 Percent

AUSTIN, Texas – Click Forensics™, Inc. released industry pay-per-click (PPC) fraud figures for the fourth quarter 2008 from the search advertising industry’s leading independent click fraud reporting service – the Click Fraud Index® (

Now in its fourth year, the Click Fraud Index monitors and reports on data gathered from the Click Fraud Network™, which provides statistically significant industry PPC data collected from online advertising campaigns for both large and small companies across all the leading search engines. Key findings from data reported for Q4 2008 include:

* The overall industry average click fraud rate grew to 17.1 percent for Q4 2008. That’s up from 16.0 percent in Q3 2008 and from the 16.6 percent rate reported for Q4 2007.
* The average click fraud rate of PPC advertisements appearing on search engine content networks, including Google AdSense and the Yahoo Publisher Network, was 28.2 percent. That’s up from the 27.1 percent rate reported for Q3 2008 and down slightly from the 28.3 percent rate reported for Q4 2007.
* Traffic from botnets was responsible for 31.4 percent of all click fraud traffic in Q4 2008. That’s up from the 27.6 percent rate reported for Q3 2008 and the 22.0 percent rate reported for Q4 2007.
* In Q4 2008, the greatest percentage of click fraud originating from countries outside the U.S. came from Canada (7.4 percent), Germany (3.0 percent) and China (2.3 percent).

“Based on the data we tracked in Q4 2008, it seems that the online advertising industry is not immune to the growing tide of cybercrime during this recessionary period,” said Tom Cuthbert, president of Click Forensics. “Both the overall click fraud rate and the rate of click fraud originating from botnets were the highest ever in Q4 2008. In addition, we’ve started to see old schemes like click farms reemerge. Advertisers should pay close attention to these types of threats in their online campaigns throughout the year.”

The Click Fraud Index publishes data collected from the Click Fraud Network, the industry’s first independent third-party click fraud detection service dedicated to helping companies more accurately monitor their online advertising campaigns for pay-per-click fraud. Click fraud data is tracked and published on a quarterly basis for specific search providers, industries and trends. The service is unique in that it monitors online campaigns for click fraud by correlating data collected from search provider campaigns and the advertisers’ own web sites – providing the industry’s most accurate view of click fraud to date.

About Click Forensics, Inc.

Click Forensics is the industry leader in scoring, auditing and improving traffic quality for the online advertising community. Click Forensics provides traffic quality management solutions for online advertisers, publishers, and ad networks. The company also publishes the Click Fraud Index®, the top independent source of industry click fraud data. Click Forensics is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and is privately held with funding from Sierra Ventures, Austin Ventures and Shasta Ventures. More information on Click Forensics and its offerings is available at

Click Fraud Index is a registered trademark of Click Forensics, Inc. Click Forensics and Click Fraud Network are trademarks of Click Forensics, Inc. All other company and product names mentioned are used only for identification and may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.