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Click Fraud; Down, But Not Out

Posted on 7.27.2009

Anchor Intelligence last week released its first report detailing traffic quality across its network of search engines, ad networks, publishers, and advertisers. The verdict? Click fraud is down (albeit only slightly).

Based on Anchor’s analysis of data from customers, the average invalid rate for Anchor customers fell slightly from 27.9% in Q1 to 27.1% in Q2. The Q1 invalid rate was comprised of a 21.7% average attempted click fraud rate and a 6.2% other invalid rate. In Q2, the average attempted click fraud rate increased to 22.9% and the other invalid rate declined to 4.2%.

In addition to the network-level rates, Anchor Intelligence also reported traffic quality rates for the top 30 countries by traffic volume. The countries with the highest attempted click fraud rates were Vietnam (48.3%), Canada (27.7%), and the U.S. (25.6%). Many lower volume countries experienced much higher attempted click fraud rates.

The Traffic Quality Report from Anchor can be accessed here.

Do these numbers seem a little out of place? The Anchor report is akin to saying that one out of five clicks is fraudulent. That's pretty shocking and I'm probably more cynical than your average PPC marketer. Click Forensics also released data on 2nd quarter PPC fraud figures (citing it as 12.7%) and it’s down for the quarter and the year across their network too. Click fraud remains a threat to every online advertiser but it remains difficult to measure - perhaps the reason for the discrepancy.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were some standards in measuring click fraud?
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