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Click Fraud in Q3 Rises for Industry, Including Yahoo! & Google

Internet search companies, particularly Yahoo and Google, that regulate important online advertising chains have not been successful in searching and thwarting click fraud, unlike their former promises. This, therefore, has been driving the problem up and wide covering the Web industry as a whole, according to Click Forensics Inc., the firm that audits clicks.

The 2007 third quarter report on click fraud published by Click Forensics shows that the average rate of click fraud for the industry was 16.2 percent for the said period. The figure had increased from a rate of 13.8% for Q3 2006 and from a rate of 15.8% for the second quarter of 2007. The mean rate of click fraud for pay-per-click or PPC advertisements on content network of search engines, including Yahoo Publisher Network and Google AdSense, was 28.1% in the third quarter of 2007. This increase has been from 19.2% during Q4 2006, from 25.6% in Q2 2007, and 21.9% in Q1 2007.

The report further indicates that more than 60% of parked domain traffic for advertising sites had been click fraud. During the third quarter of 2007, countries with the highest rate of click fraud (outside North America) were France (4.2%), China (4.1%), and Germany (3.7%).

According to the President and CEO of Click Forensics, Tom Cuthbert, the activities of click fraud are still increasing for ad sites, on content networks, and for parked domains. Alleyinsider published Cuthbert's statement on October 19, 2007. Publishers, advertisers, and search engines should be careful with content networks that are fast becoming the significant zones of click fraud. It is essential to ensure that their quality is standardized so that the market for PPC advertising continues to grow, Cuthbert said.

Click fraud activities on these important networks are posing difficulties for advertisers who are increasingly seeking other alternatives. The large online companies too are not any better about policing themselves: both Yahoo and Google have opt-out tools for advertisers who suspect a site with click fraud, but these tools are extremely difficult to use making most advertisers stay away from them, according to Tom Cuthbert.

Related article: Class-Action Lawsuit Soon To Be Settled By TD Ameritrade

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