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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