07:47 PM
Connect Directly
IoT & Insurance: How Big Data May Affect Your Privacy & Premiums
May 06, 2016
Gwenn Bezard is co-founder and research director at Aite Group, where he leads the insurance pract ...Read More>>

Click Fraud Cloud Still Hangs Over Internet Advertising

The number of invalid clicks for online ads averaged 13.8% in the third quarter of this year, according to a click tracking firm. Google and Yahoo had a slightly better rate.

Click fraud isn't growing, yet there's no sign it's diminishing. The number of invalid clicks for online ads averaged 13.8% in the third quarter of this year, a touch less than the 14.1% recorded in the second quarter and on par with the 13.7% seen in the first quarter, according to Click Forensics.

Among high-priced search keywords--over $2 a click--the fraud rate rose from 20.2% in the second quarter to 20.9% in the third. Click Forensics says high-priced terms often make up the majority of an advertiser's budget.

The big search engines--Google and Yahoo--insist that click fraud is a manageable problem and that companies like Click Forensics have a financial interest in exaggerating the extent of click fraud.

If Click Forensics' numbers are to be believed, Google and Yahoo come out looking pretty good compared to their competitors. The click fraud rate at Tier 1 search engines (11.9% for Google and Yahoo) is significantly lower than at Tier 2 search engines (23.2% for Ask, Lycos, and MSN) and at Tier 3 search engines (25.6% for Dogpile and Mamma).

Meanwhile, the average cost for the top pay-per-click terms across the five largest advertising segments--retail, financial services, health, technology, and entertainment--declined in the third quarter to $3.92, down from $4.51 in the second quarter and $4.75 in the first.

But with the holidays approaching, the cost of popular keywords may rise as advertisers try to drive sales.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2016 InformationWeek Elite 100
Our 28th annual ranking of the leading US users of business technology.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of April 24, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week!
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.