Click Fraud Could Cost Advertisers $6.3 Billion in 2015

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The bots are taking over, and that's bad news for advertisers.

The idea is that some companies use bots (or real people) to flood ads with clicks and views. Not every provider is as good as Google at detecting fraud. Some of them don't care as much as Google - which means that when advertisers pay money to have their ads hosted and expect to reach a huge audience...they may only be reaching a small percentage of that. Meaning that they money they pay to spread their ads is largely wasted.

"The most startling finding: Only 20 percent of the campaign's 'ad impressions' - ads that appear on a computer or smartphone screen - were even seen by actual people."

On WebmasterWorld, users are debating whether this hurts advertisers or publishers more. It's a tricky subject - because the value of the companies generating the fake clicks is somewhat difficult to understand. How does one make money selling clicks if everyone knows that they're fake?

Ian Kelly wrote:
Most often the fraud clicks are being sent through a higher tier provider where the fraud control isn't as good...You're right that they get caught, eventually. Their goal is to make as much money as they can before that happens. Once they get caught they either switch providers or start over with another account/site... Generally the providers that syndicate Google ads have to be more diligent because G is better at catching fraud before the first payment. The ones that don't use G or Bing are often pretty lax, allowing a lot of questionable traffic at very low CPC rates.

This follows startling news earlier last month that ad blocking might cost up to $22 billion in lost revenue this year.


Click fraud

The problem with all ad platforms is they do not and will not tell the advertiser who is clicking on their ad. Obviously not by name, but by IP address and or a unique identifier. Yet, Google and BING allow the advertiser to exclude an IP address. We battled this for months. There are a few pay per click detection and prevention services out there. And we pretty much tested a them all before settling on

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