Anchor Intelligence Reports One out of Every Four Ad Clicks was an Attempt at Click Fraud

Proliferation of Botnets and Exploitation of Holiday Spend Caused Attempted Click Fraud Rate to Peak at 26% in Q4 2009

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Anchor Intelligence, the leading provider of traffic quality solutions, released the Anchor Intelligence Traffic Quality Report: 2009 Year In Review. The Anchor Intelligence network saw the average attempted click fraud rate jump from 18.6% in Q3 to 25.7% in Q4 – an increase of almost 40%; this is the highest attempted click fraud rate recorded by Anchor in all of 2009.

The spike in the attempted click fraud rate in Q4 was due to greater activity by click fraudsters looking to take advantage of the surge in holiday ad spend online. The proliferation of botnets, which are commonly used for automating traffic and coordinating click fraud ring activity, spiked late in the quarter. Furthermore, most new customers had much higher attempted click fraud rates than what is typically observed, due to the considerable presence of traffic from large-scale click fraud rings.

Report Highlights

In Q4 2009, the attempted click fraud rate peaked at 25.7%.
The 5 countries with the highest attempted click fraud rates in 2009 were Vietnam, U.S., Egypt, Canada, and Australia. In particular, the U.S. and Canada accounted for the vast majority of traffic volume, making these two countries the largest sources of attempted click fraud by volume.
Anchor saved advertisers approximately $35 million in 2009 by identifying click fraud in real time, before it could impact advertiser spend.
Anchor predicts that click fraud attempts will increase in 2010 as cybercriminals increasingly exploit the growth and adoption of social networks such as Facebook and tools such as Twitter.
“As botnets become more flexible and resilient, click fraud will be increasingly difficult to identify without a collaborative and systematic, network-based approach,” said Ken Miller, CEO of Anchor Intelligence. “By releasing this report, we hope to provide a barometer by which the industry can assess the level of threats to online advertising while also conveying the importance of advertising with ad networks and search engines that partner with third-parties to certify their traffic quality.”

ClearMark, Anchor’s real-time traffic scoring system, classifies traffic according to quality, enabling customers to differentiate invalid traffic from valid traffic, before it can impact advertiser spend. Additionally, ClearMark distinguishes between attempted click fraud – clicks or impressions generated with malicious intent – and other invalid traffic, such as double clicks, traffic from self-identified robots, and internal clicks.

Download the report here:

Click to Tweet: @AnchorIntel reports one out of every four ad clicks is an attempt at click fraud,

About Anchor Intelligence:

Anchor Intelligence Inc., headquartered in Mountain View, CA, is the traffic quality solutions provider of choice among ad networks, search engines, and advertisers from across the globe. Using Anchor Intelligence’s ClearMark, the industry’s first and only real-time traffic scoring system, industry players obtain the necessary intelligence to fight click and impression fraud, efficiently manage traffic sources, and capitalize on high quality clicks while maximizing advertiser ROI. For more information, visit: Follow us on Twitter: