5 Facts about Click Fraud

You may or may not have heard about click fraud. In today’s digital world there are ever increasing ways to commit click fraud and an equally increasing number of perpetuators who commit it – and they are not always human. 

With a wide variety of ways to advertise on the internet, many businesses both big and small have found themselves the victim of click fraud and the trend looks set to continue and at an increased and alarming rate. 

It’s with this in mind that we compiled 5 facts about click fraud.

  1. Click fraud costs a lot of money

Click fraud can cost advertisers a lot of money and the trend looks set to continue for years to come. In 2018 alone it was estimated that almost £21 billion pounds was lost by advertisers. This is the equivalent of half the UK’s annual defence budget. 

It has also been calculated that since 2016, the cost of click fraud to UK businesses has rocketed by £15 billion pounds. 

  1. Competitor click fraud

One of the main sources of click fraud originates from competitors. Although any business can experience this form of click fraud, there are some industries and sectors which are more susceptible. Locksmiths, drainage and plumbing and service industries are particularly affected.

Competitor click fraud is increasingly prevalent and it is carried out with the sole purpose of inflating costs for businesses and undermining their competitiveness within a particular sector or industry. 

  1. Bots

You may not have heard of bots before but you may be surprised to hear that roughly half of all internet traffic originates from bots. 

But what are bots exactly? Bots are automated programs that can perform tasks online without any direct input from a person – in essence a robot. 

Bots can affect thousands, or even millions of computers in a short space of time. It is often bots who perform the most widespread damage to online advertisers as they can affect networks simultaneously. Not all bots are malicious but the dangerous kind are growing year-on-year. 

  1. VPNs 

In recent years, VPNs (or Virtual Private Networks) have becoming increasingly common. These networks allow users to hide themselves within a private network whilst still been able to interact on other networks. IP addresses, which identify a user, can be hidden or changed, making it hard to identify a potential fraudulent user. 

  1. Illegal?

Despite its terminology, there is still a vagueness about the legal status of click fraud. Due to the fluid nature of pay-per-click marketing, it is sometimes difficult to certify fraudulent activity. 

There have been a number of cases (particularly in the United States) dealing with click fraud – with mixed success for prosecution. However, it looks set to become a more defined offence in the coming years, with improved tracking technology having the biggest effect on detection rates. 

Summary

With these 5 facts about click fraud in mind, you may be wondering if there is a solution to these online threats. Thankfully, there are providers who can deliver protection against click fraud. 

In the UK, Click Guardian is the leading provider of click fraud protection. They offer a free 14 day trial and an easy to set-up process for your business pay-per-click campaigns.