Google: Click Fraud is Overestimated

Sep 17, 2007 • 10:04 am | comments (5) by twitter | Filed Under Google AdWords
 

Forbes has published an article about the concerns regarding click fraud. Shuman Ghosemajumder, Google's click fraud czar, says that Google is throwing out less than 10% clicks to accommodate any invalid clicks so that advertisers are not billed for these fraudulent clicks:

The auditing firm, Fair Isaac, for example, estimated in May that on Google's content network, 10 to 15% of clicks are fraudulent. On ads placed next to search results, they said that there was a negligible rate of click fraud, less than 1%. That implies an overall click-fraud rate of around five to 7%. The number of clicks that we proactively throw out is less than 10%. So then the question is really: How much are advertisers getting for free thanks to our detection methods?

Not all forum members are convinced by Ghosemajumder's statements. In fact, they're concerned that Google is withholding information. They'd like a lot more data.

But one user sums it up, saying that advertisers should track their conversions to ensure that they are making a profit and that Google should continue containing these concerns. Still, there are fraudsters who will exploit the system.

The way I see it is just as it says. Advertisers bids will ultimately adjust up or down according the percentage of click fraud they are dealing with. If google is comfortable with the current fraud levels and they are taking measures to contain it, and advertisers are using conversion tracking and turning a profit, everyone is happy...unfortunately so are the fraudsters that are making off with the 10% to 25% margin allotted for click fraud.

This doesn't really change how things have been seen with regards to click fraud.

Forum discussion continues at WebmasterWorld.

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Comments:

omadsense

09/19/2007 02:45 pm

First I agree with : "If google is comfortable with the current fraud levels and they are taking measures to contain it, and advertisers are using conversion tracking and turning a profit, everyone is happy...unfortunately so are the fraudsters that are making off with the 10% to 25% margin allotted for click fraud." But I believe the click fruad is more in the content section than in the normal bid search engine side. Thier easier to get at and harder to detect a small amount of change here and there.

Chinatat

09/19/2007 02:52 pm

Google should worry less about click fraud and concentrate on eliminating from Adsense and it search results scrapper MFA sites. That's where the real fraud is being perpetrated.

Alan Scott

09/19/2007 02:56 pm

I recently disabled the Content network for Pewter on Google due to a 70-80% of hits which only hit the landing page for a registered time of 1 second. This constitutes click fraud in my book

Buzzsaw

09/20/2007 02:37 pm

Click fraud is the scurge of any PPC and I’m inclined to agree with the comments made Alan! Google as always reassures us that their systems are being constantly updated to combat this growing problem, but at who’s expense? The way Google processes algorithm’s to monitor click fraud is at best left wanting, sure it’s like a Rottweiler for multiple clicks on an ad in short timeframe, but it is not despite their reassurances strong enough to cover repeated attacks over prolonged periods of say a month where by the same IP will target different ads or keywords with an campaign. I’ve also heard there have been issues surrounding geo targeting where the advertiser selects a UK only target audience and clicks have been mounting up from India and States etc etc – Google’s answer to this is farcical – they are valid searches/clicks as the user requested the search to be UK only- WTF? Naturally the client has to wear it and the frustration is overwhelming when the advertiser asks: Can I have the IP’s to block this sort of repeated abuse and Google politely replies sorry we do not give that sort of information. Happy days for Google, not so for those that paying through the nose!

prajith

09/22/2007 01:30 am

its hard to eliminate the click fraoud. Google had designed a good system to counter it. The adsense program gives the google and adverts a good and bad effect. But its hard to google to take a strong action against people using adsense. The competitors are growing now.

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