Google: Reports Of 2% Click Fraud Inaccurate - InformationWeek
Software // Enterprise Applications
02:47 PM
Connect Directly

Google: Reports Of 2% Click Fraud Inaccurate

The total number of invalid clicks Google detects, according to product manager, is a single-digit percentage. Invalid clicks encompass both fraudulent clicks and others that Google chooses to discard.

Google product manager Shuman Ghosemajumder says a recent blog post misinterprets the rate of click fraud Google sees.

On Monday, blogger Andy Beal, having spoken with Ghosemajumder at a recent conference, concluded that Google's click fraud rate was less than 2%.

In a reply on his own blog, Ghosemajumder attempted to clarify what he said. "I never said that our click fraud rate is less than 2%," he wrote. "Instead, what I said is that the quantity of invalid clicks which we detect as a result of reactive investigations is a 'negligible proportion' of the total number of invalid clicks. Andy asked me if that percentage is less than 2%. I told him that I was not able to provide a bound [sic], but yes, 'negligible' certainly means less than 2% of invalid clicks."

"Invalid clicks" encompass both fraudulent clicks and others that Google chooses to discard. "There are a significant number of clicks that we mark as invalid which we know have nothing to do with fraud," Ghosemajumder explained in a phone interview. "When we do that, we reduce our own revenues in order to benefit our advertisers. We do so because we'll benefit in the long run by providing them with the best ROI."

The total number of invalid clicks Google detects, according to Ghosemajumder, is a single-digit percentage.

Nearly all of these invalid clicks, he says—98% plus—are detected proactively, meaning Google catches them before the advertiser is billed.

The remaining fraction, less than 2% of the invalid click total, gets detected reactively following an investigation initiated because of an advertiser's complaint that prompts Google to refund some portion of the cost of the clicks called into question.

All of which is to say that Ghosemajumder believes click fraud is an issue Google has well in hand.

Click auditing companies claim the total number of invalid clicks is closer to 14%. Google has suggested that click auditing companies have an interest in exaggerating click fraud to justify their services.

As for the number of undetected invalid clicks, that number, by definition, remains unknown.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
The DevOps movement brings application development and infrastructure operations together to increase efficiency and deploy applications more quickly. But embracing DevOps means making significant cultural, organizational, and technological changes. This research report will examine how and why IT organizations are adopting DevOps methodologies, the effects on their staff and processes, and the tools they are utilizing for the best results.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
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.
Flash Poll