May 20th, 2006

Click Fraud Snowballs


From Help Net Security comes the astonishing revelation that a botnet comprising more than 34,000 infected computers has been perputrating click fraud against pay-per-click systems like Google AdWords. Let’s do some math:

10 clicks/day X $1/click X 34,000 computers X 365 days = $124M annual fraud

100 clicks/day X $1/click X 34,000 computers X 365 days = $1.2B annual fraud

100 clicks/day X $5/click X 34,000 computers X 365 days = $6.2B annual fraud

For the first 3 months of 2006, Google reported $928 million in “network” ad revenue, on track for $4 billion in 2006. What if 5% of that is fraudulent? What if it’s 10% or 25% or 40%?

Google has made an astonishing amount of money on pay-per-click advertising. For Google investors and insiders, it’s almost too good to be true.

What if it is?

  • Click Fraud is an interesting topic - one which both clicktracks and adwatcher will stop, one which will cost you an estimated 20% of your ad budget.
    This is an interesting article with valuable information. I have used both clicktracks and adwatcher to prevent clickfraud. What we and many other webmasters are starting to do is invest our marketing dollars into clicktracks, adwatcher or other ad tracker software.
    If you are looking for more information on adwatcher or clicktracks i recommend you take a look at: http://www.trackingsoftwarerev... they have full reviews on both clicktracks and adwatcher!

    Mike Baker

  • This is a real concern for all advertisers, not simply because we keep seeing that such networks exist, but also because Google and Yahoo! refuse to be transparent in how our advertising dollars are spent. What is even more of concern is that PPC engines are rewarded for fraud, so there's a real conflict of interest in tackling anything but the most superficial and easily detected areas of clickfraud.

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