Click Forensics released today industry pay-per-click (PPC) fraud figures from the Click Fraud Index for the first quarter of 2007. The overall industry average click fraud rate was 14.8 percent for 1Q07, the firm said.
That rate was the highest reported for any quarter in the past year, rising from 14.2 percent in the previous quarter (4Q06) and from 13.7 percent in the year-earlier quarter (1Q06); the average click fraud rate was 13.8 percent for 3Q06 and 14.1 percent for 2Q06.
Other key findings from Q1 data:
- The average click fraud rate of pay-per-click advertisements appearing on search engine content networks was 21.9 percent, compared with 19.2 percent in the previous quarter (4Q06).
- The industry average click fraud rate for high-priced search terms (over $2.00) was 22.2 percent in the first quarter, compared with 20.9 percent in Q406 (and 20.9 percent in 3Q06 and 20.2 percent in 2Q06). High-priced terms often make up the majority of an advertiser’s total spend.
“It appears that click fraud perpetrators are becoming more sophisticated even as search providers step up their efforts to fight click fraud,” said Click Forensics president and CEO Tom Cuthbert.
“Click fraud seems to be following a similar path as other online fraud schemes such as spam and phishing – the problem is growing as fraudsters fine-tune their methods.”
The Click Fraud Index monitors and reports on data gathered from the Click Fraud Network, which consists of some 3,500 online advertisers and agencies, according to Click Forensics. The Network provides pay-per-click online advertising campaign information by correlating data collected from search provider campaigns and the advertisers’ own websites.