Thursday, March 01, 2007

AdSense Click Fraud Rates

Google's single most profitable revenue generation source AdSense has always been under fire for click fraud and most importanly the company's been under public scrutiny for better communicating their efforts on fighting the problem. Third party companies emerged and started filling the niche by coming up with click fraud analytics software so that Google's major customers, even the small to mid-size business could take advantage of an automated way to analyze click anomalies. But how prelevant is the problem really? Should the discussion always orbit around Google's efforts, to its customers' vigilance and education on detecting click fraud, or should it shift to improving the communication between all participants, namely Google, its customers and the click auditing companies?

According to the most recent click fraud rate from Google - click fraud is only 0.002% of all clicks. Danny Sullivan has an in-depth analysis of the topic, emphasizing on the importance of detected click fraud rates :

"Finally, we have a click fraud rate from Google itself: less than 0.02 percent of all clicks slip past its filters and are caught after advertisers request reviews. That low figure is sure to bring out the critics who will disagree. Below, more about how Google comes up with the figure plus some click fraud fighting initiatives it plans to implement later this year.Why release this figure now, when many have wanted it for literally years?

"We've been working to be more transparent and informative on the issues related to click fraud. Recently, this metric has been something advertisers have specifically asked for and we agree that is useful in describing the scope of the problem. Further, it is something we measure and use to monitor the performance of our click fraud detection systems," said Shuman Ghosemajumder, business product manager for trust & safety at Google."

During July, 2006 Google commissioned a third-part analysis of their efforts to fight click fraud you will definitely find informative, and here's another research taking the discussion beyond the typical botnets and human clickers perspective. There are also false click fraud positives to keep in mind as shown in this analysis.

Stats courtesy of Clickfraudindex who by the way started blogging recently.