ClickForensics: Botnet click fraud rose 10% in the third quarter

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Pay-per-click traffic quality management and click fraud prevention service provider ClickForensics today released its third quarter industry average click fraud figures.


While the overall industry click fraud rate were down slightly from 16.2% to 16%, click-fraud traffic from botnets rose 10% from last quarter to 27.6%. Since first quarter 2007, when ClickForensics began tracking botnets, the percentage has increased rapidly from 9%.


Botnets are collections of malicious code loaded onto users' computers without their knowledge, turning it into a source of click fraud and spam.


“This has been a trend over the past five quarters,” said Tom Cuthbert, president and founder of ClickForensics, “The activity has been increasing, and we hope search engines and the industry as a whole would be better at stopping and slowing it down.


Cuthbert said advertisers need to be vigilant in monitoring online campaigns whether through third parties or on their own. He says they also should be submitting their findings to the search engines so they, in turn, can do a better job of identifying and stopping click fraud. Additionally he said advertisers should communicate with search engines in a way to get credit back for fraudulent clicks.


“This is significant for advertisers because every dollar needs to be effective when ad dollars are tight,” Cuthbert said. “Click fraud could be draining their budget, and they need to be aware that 16% is a very large number.”


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