Click fraud is on the rise. Up just over 10% from the first quarter of 2007 (14.8%), to 16.3% for the first quarter of 2008.
What is click fraud? Someone clicking on your ad with no intention or interest in your product or service. Their goal is simply to deplete your daily ad budget for the pay-per-click contract you have, and cost you money.
Click farms and click bots scour search engines and sites targeting your ads. Primarily they focus on the major search engines like Google and Yahoo, because by eliminating your budget for the day, their ad moves up on the list. And search engines like Google are not moving quickly to change this because everytime an ad gets clicked, they get paid. Quite a conundrum for Google.
On the upside, this does mean that 84% of the people that click on your ad are interested, which can still provide a very competitive ROI compared to other forms of advertising.
Still, it’s a number to keep an eye on, and ask about before your purchase ad words, or enter into a pay-per-click ad campaign.
Here’s a nice free download from Click Forensics that gives much more detail, and seven things you can do to prevent click fraud.