IAB Releases Click Measurement Guidelines, Establishes Parameters for Counting Valid Clicks, Filtering Fraudulent Clicks

Ad Operations OnlinePublishers and Advertisers Reach Consensus on Critical Online Measurement

NEW YORK – To an Internet user, a click is a simple action. Accurately counting those clicks, however, is a complex operational task. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced the release of its Click Measurement Guidelines, which establish parameters for the accurate buying and selling of cost-per-click advertising. The guidelines, agreed upon by key industry stakeholders, provide a strong framework for identifying and discarding invalid or fraudulent clicks, helping ensure that only legitimate clicks are counted.

The Click Measurement Guidelines:

* Define the technical life-cycle of a “click” and outline standard methodologies by which clicks should be measured and counted, including provisions for identifying invalid and/or fraudulent clicks.
* Establish standard terms that will help streamline the buying and selling of click-based media.
* Increase transparency and consistency in click measurements for media companies, ad-serving organizations, advertisers, and third-party click auditors.

“The fact that we’ve obtained agreement within the online industry on the precise definition and measurement of a click and a procedure for identifying and eliminating fraudulent clicks is a huge win for the industry,” said Joe Laszlo, research director of the IAB. “These guidelines help assure marketers that the clicks they are paying for are generated by real people with a real interest in the product or service being advertised.”

The guidelines are the latest addition to the IAB’s ongoing efforts to harmonize interactive measurement. They complement IAB guidelines for general ad impressions, digital video commercials and audience reach measurement.

“The ability to measure consumer interactions with ads has been one of the hallmarks of the interactive advertising industry,” said George Ivie, Executive Director and CEO of the Media Rating Council (MRC). “The IAB has taken a leadership role in bringing this important work on Click Measurement to fruition and marketers and agencies will benefit enormously from it.”

“The work of the IAB and member companies has produced an excellent document that is a solid first step in this process,” said Tom Cuthbert, President, Click Forensics. “We are proud to have been a part of the process every step of the way and will continue to support the efforts of the IAB and other organizations that work to improve traffic quality.”

To view the complete document, please go to www.iab.net/clickmeasurementguidelines.

About the IAB’s Click Measurement Working Group:

The Click Measurement Working Group includes representatives from 38 IAB member companies, including sellers, measurers, and auditors of online media. Initiated in late 2005, the working group, together with the Media Rating Council, has spent the last three years developing these important guidelines and achieving consensus around them.

About the IAB:

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 375 leading media and technology companies who are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.iab.net.