Publisher Collusion Fraud Remains a Significant Threat to Ad Networks
AUSTIN, Texas – Click Forensics®, Inc. released industry pay-per-click (PPC) fraud figures for the second quarter 2009 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 provides statistically significant industry PPC data collected from online advertising campaigns for both large and small advertisers across all leading search engines. Traffic across more than 300 ad networks is also reflected in the data. Key findings for Q2 2009 include:
* The overall industry average click fraud rate was 12.7 percent. That’s down from 13.8 percent for Q1 2009 and from the 16.2 percent rate reported for Q2 2008.
* Click fraud traffic from sophisticated sources and scripted programs rose again in Q2 2009. This included a rise in the incidents of publisher collusion fraud on ad networks.
“The increased diligence of online ad networks to detect and block invalid traffic sources has contributed to the decline in the overall click fraud rate this quarter,” said Tom Cuthbert, president of Click Forensics. “However, increasingly sophisticated attacks, such as publisher collusion fraud, continue to be a concern. Ad networks should pay close attention to such threats in the coming months.”
The data in Q2 also showed that many of the new click fraud schemes identified last quarter continue to increase in number and sophistication. Publisher collusion fraud was one example. This scheme occurs when online publishers use rotating IP-addresses or botnets to click ads on their own sites in order to generate inflated commissions from unprotected ad networks. Ad networks have difficultly differentiating such attacks from valid clicks.
The Click Fraud Index publishes data collected from 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. The service is unique in that it monitors online campaigns for click fraud by correlating advertising campaign data collected from search providers, over 300 ad networks 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 leading online advertisers, publishers and ad networks, including companies such as Yahoo!, eBay, Progressive Insurance, Experian, Nextag, Infospace, Turn, Traffic Engine, Vegas.com and many others. 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, Shasta Ventures and Stanford University. More information on Click Forensics and its offerings is available at www.ClickForensics.com.