Google dismisses click fraud report

Google isn't buying the latest click fraud estimates from Click Forensics.

Google is taking issue with a report that says click fraud hit a record high in the fourth quarter.

On Wednesday, Click Forensics said the incidence of click fraud rose to 17.1 percent in the fourth quarter, the highest rate since the company began tracking this problem in April 2006. Click Forensics provides services to monitor ad campaigns for click fraud.

Google questions the report's validity. "These estimates continue to count clicks Google does not charge to advertisers as fraudulent, so they are not actually click fraud estimates," a Google spokeswoman said via e-mail when asked for comment about the report.

"Furthermore, their estimates have never reflected the invalid click rates we see at Google, which we have previously stated have remained in the range of less than 10 percent of all clicks every quarter since we launched AdWords in 2002," she said.

Click fraud is a highly sensitive issue for Google, which generates most of its revenue from the type of online advertising affected by this problem. Click fraud happens when someone clicks on a pay-per-click (PPC) ad with malicious intent or by mistake.

For example, a competitor may click on a rival's PPC ads in order to drive up their ad spending. Also, a publisher may click on PPC ads on its site to trigger more commissions. Click fraud also includes nonmalicious activity that nonetheless yields a click of little or no value to the advertiser, such as when someone clicks on an ad by mistake or two consecutive times.

Google and Click Forensics have often locked horns in the past over the rate of click fraud. Google has accused Click Forensics of being inept in its methodology and misleading in its results in order to make the problem seem bigger than it is. Meanwhile, Click Forensics has charged that Google has purposefully trivialized click fraud and mischaracterized it as a minor problem.

In October, in a case of strange bedfellows, Google began publicly cooperating with Click Forensics by agreeing to accept the electronically generated click-quality reports generated by the Click Forensics FACTr service. However, it's evident the companies still have significant disagreements regarding the issue of click fraud incidence.

Search advertising is the largest online ad format, generating about 40 percent of all online ad spending, and Google is by far the largest provider of this type of ad, with industry estimates that it nabs more than 70 percent of search ad spending.

Click Forensics generates its quarterly click-fraud incidence report using its Click Fraud Index, which gathers data from more than 4,500 online advertisers and agencies that use ad services from all major search engines.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Googleclick fraud

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Cygnett 2500 ChargeUp Pocket Lightning Portable Power Bank

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

TerraCycle Zero Waste Box Pens and Markers Small

Learn more >

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?