Due to the quick growth of digital marketing, we are also experiencing a rise in ad frauds and click frauds. However, are you aware of the volume of click fraud out there? How much is it costing you? Here, we will take a look at the click fraud statistics in the last few years. We will also find out how the coronavirus pandemic affected the marketing world and click frauds. Click fraud prevention is a big headache for all PPC campaigns with criminal enterprises and vindictive competitors trying to suck your ad budget.
Click fraud and invalid traffic
Around 38% of the traffic on the internet is generated by bots and automation. Out of these bots, 24% are bad bots or the ones that use theft and fraud. While undertaking a paid search campaign around 14% of the clicks come from non-genuine sources. Around 15% of the paid internet traffic cannot be attributed and is lost to click fraud. Some on-demand service industries such as pest control and plumbing are observing close to 60% click frauds on their paid advertisements. It was discovered that click fraud cost digital marketers nearly $35 billion in 2020 alone.
The amount involved in click fraud has been expected to rise from $19 billion in 2018 to $44 billion in 2022. Almost all the PPC ad campaigns on Bing and Google are affected by these click frauds. The click fraud rates jumped by more than 21% during the initial phase of the pandemic. Some of the industries with greater click-fraud rates include pest control, plumbing, locksmiths, waste removal, and photography. The legal and financial services were hit by close to 25% fake clicks and invalid traffic during 2020. Companies that spend $10,000 every month for Google Ads are losing around $12,000 to $15,000 every year due to click fraud.
The click fraud business
The PTC or paid-to-click industry paid almost $13.2 million to different remote workers for clicking ads for traffic in 2020. It is easy to buy clicks online with around 1000 clicks available for $5. Many click farms advertise openly on several platforms such as YouTube and they can give thousands of clicks for $100 a month. These click farms often use real people and a network of devices for creating genuine appearing clicks on anything from paid links to social media. Botnets and click farms are not entirely illegal. However, some portions of their work may be prosecuted under the law such as data theft and wire fraud.
There are several enterprising criminal networks around that were discovered to be running fraudulent botnets. Some of these include Methbot, Hydra, Hyphbot, and 3ve. Most of their operators are making millions of dollars every year. Apart from inflating the payouts for the publishers, these click frauds can also be utilized for falsely attributing downloads and app installs to the fraud developers. This is known as attribution fraud. Click bots are nothing but simple scripts that can be deployed for doing anything from posting comments to following social media accounts to generate views for the display ads.
Inference from the statistics
From these figures, you can see that one of the most important tools used for business marketers is Google Ads. However, it is also wide open for the fraud problem. Google keeps on bringing in new changes such as dropping cookies from their browser Chrome in 2022. This step is expected to bring large changes to the way click fraud is analyzed and handled by Google. But many people also believe that not much will change.
Click fraud and invalid traffic is likely to keep on being a problem shortly. One of the better ways of ensuring that the PPC ad campaign expenditure is optimized is by using click fraud prevention methods. There are some online tools available for blocking click farms, bots, and competitors from your ads. You can prevent fraudulent clicks to an extent for your Bing and Google ads. If you are not sure about the whole thing and would like to talk to pros, consult I SEO U Company if your business belongs to Clearwater, FL, area.