Google claims that third-party auditing firms exaggerate the impact of click fraud on advertisers.

Click fraud occurs when an automated programme clicks on an advertised product on a Google page for financial gain, at the cost of advertisers who pay for each click.

However, Google says in an analysis that the problem has been blown out of proportion, and consequently advertisers may adjust their strategies, thereby diluting the effectiveness of their online campaigns.

“We have seen numerous reports of click fraud estimates which we believe significantly overestimate the impact on advertisers,” the search engine stated.

“We have continued to see third-party click fraud auditing firms stating that their measurements show much higher levels of click fraud than we believe could possibly be realistic (eg 14 per cent), which is troubling.”

The search engine analysis partly bases its conclusions on ‘fictitious clicks’, which were reported as fraudulent but never appeared in Google’s logs as clicks.

Fictitious clicks can be the result of a user reloading a website, hitting the browser’s back button, or opening up a new browser window.

However, Google has acknowledged the problem of click fraud and last week joined the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAE) Click Measurement Working Group to establish industry-wide definitions of advertising clicks.

Related Topics: General Marketing