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MarketingExperiments Survey Finds High Click Fraud Levels

Chris Richardson
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-08-02

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One of the biggest scourges to the pay-per-click method of advertising is the threat of fraudulent clicks and with the growth of things like foreign click fraud farms, this concern has become even more magnified.

Even Google stated in one of their IPO amendments that fraudulent clicks of text ads was one of the bigger threats facing their revenue generation process. From Google's second amendment: "If we fail to detect click-through fraud, we could lose the confidence of our advertisers, thereby causing our business to suffer." As you can imagine, click fraud is something Google takes quite seriously. You can imagine their collective reaction when news about the MarketingExperiments.com survey broke.

MarketingExperiments Survey Finds High Click Fraud Levels
According to the MarketingExperiments.com study (and subsequent press release), as much as 29.5% of clicks on Google's AdWords ads could be fraudulent. The blame for this increase falls on the aforementioned click fraud farms as opposed to the web owner who's clicking his/her site ads in an attempt to boost profits. This is made apparent by Flint McGlaughlin, director of MEC labs, who says:
From our research, we found that it is unlikely an individual committing click fraud by clicking an ad over and over will go undetected by Google. But our research also shows that when more sophisticated systems and software are used, only a small percentage of the fraud is detected, with fraud increasing proportionate to the bid price.
To derive their position, MarketingExperiments conducted their study with the help of Clicks2Customers.com and focused on three PPC campaigns that were running during a 10-day period. Duplicate clicks were determined by comparing the IP address of the clicks acquired by the campaigns in question.

As of this article, Google had not responded to the results found during the MarketingExperiments survey, but one can expect the company to be concerned, especially if the ME findings turn out to be as accurate as their data indicated. For more on what Google considers to be a fraudulent click, please read their AdWords FAQ.

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About the Author:
Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.

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