17.1% of Your Money is Stolen From You!

adsense-click-fraud-cultprit-foundClick Fraud is becoming a bigger problem for affiliates with each passing year!  Did you know that 17.1% of all clickthroughs on web advertisements are considered click fraud?  That means that 17.1% of the money you spend is being wasted on clicks that aren’t even going to convert for you!  Like getting started in affiliate marketing isn’t hard enough, you now must also factor in that 17.1% of the clicks you receive are garbage.

Click Forensics, a company that specializes in monitoring and preventing internet crimes, has just released their latest report stating that 17.1% of clicks are click fraud.  This is the highest they’ve seen it since they started monitoring it in 2006!

Another interesting fact is that 30% of fraudulent clicks are now coming from bots which is a 14% increase from the last quarter!

So what exactly is Click Fraud?

According to Wikipedia:

Click fraud is a type of Internet crime that occurs in pay per click online advertising when a person, automated script, or computer program imitates a legitimate user of a web browser clicking on an ad for the purpose of generating a charge per click without having actual interest in the target of the ad’s link.

In laymen terms, Either a computer bot or a person clicks on your ads multiple times in order to cost you money, or maybe in order to look at your landing pages to try to copy them, or whatever and as a result it costs you money since they clicked on your ad!  In fact, it could just be a competitor trying to get you to drop out so they can take over your spots!  The bottom line is that Click Fraud is bad news for affiliate marketers!

What can you do to protect yourself from Click Fraud?

Well, unfortunately you’ll never be able to completely get rid of fraudulent clicks.  It’s something your always going to have to deal with as an affiliate marketer, however, there are two things you can try to help lower it or keep it low.

Stay away from 3rd Tier Search Engines

3rd Tier Search Engines or Contextual Sites like Ask.com, 7Search, Bidvertiser, etc are known to have higher click fraud percentages, so one of the best ways to avoid higher click fraud rates is to avoid the smaller engines.  While this may seem simple enough, there is one problem…  What happens if these sites are making you money?  Is there anyway to fight click fraud then?

Click Fraud Software

There are several pieces of software out there that will help you monitor for fraudulent clicks and then allow you to send in an email to each company at the end of the month in order to request a credit for any fraudulent clicks it detects.  There are several different companies that do this including Adwatcher (aff link) which is the one I want to talk about today.

Here is the reason I like Adwatcher, It’s completely free to try for 30 days.  You don’t even have to enter in a credit card or anything to use the trial either!  Also, most of these services are expensive as they charge you per clicks.  If you do 1000 clicks a month it may be 20 bucks, if you do 2000 clicks a month it may be 40 bucks, and so forth, however, if you don’t mind setting up and running adwatcher on your own server (which by the way is really easy) it’s only 29.95 bucks a month for up to 50,000 clicks or 49.95 for unlimited clicks.  It’s even cheaper if you buy a 3 months or a year in advance.

Some of you will think I’m only writing this for the commission, which I’m not afraid to admit I did include my affiliate link, however, I’ve been asked multiple times which software I use to detect click fraud and also I’ve been asked numerous times if it was bad enough a thing to worry about.  So, this is the software that I actually use myself and I truly believe it’s worth every penny!

Again, try it out for 30 days completely free, you don’t even have to enter payment details and you’ll see yourself that Adwatcher is definitely one of the best Click Fraud Software out there!


  1. I was able to cut down on click fraud by filtering certain countries.

  2. Believe it or not, but the United States is actually up there when it comes to click fraud, so even getting rid of the extremely high countries, you’ll still most likely be fighting with high Click Fraud percentages.

    Also, while some other countries have higher click fraud rates, they also have a lot lower cost per clicks which can work to your benefit if your using some type of click fraud software…Whether you throw together something basic on your own that just watches for multiple hits from the same IP or whether you use some more “fancy” type software like Adwatcher.

  3. Great Post ! All the adsense fraud and arbitrage is ruining adsense for publishers and advertisers. For one im stuck with shitty Bidvertiser because I can not even be accepted for adsense even with sites over 6months old and PR3 , this esepecially sucks when I see the most horrible sites ever with adsense. Do you know if pepperjam ads are good and how is the pay derek? Im desperately looking for an alternative to bidvertiser or adsense.

  4. Actually, either your affiliate link isn’t working or you’ve got some misinformation in this post. They do require your credit card to get the free trial. I’ve tried everything on that form to get a trial without putting in my credit card info and nothing works.

    Just FYI.

  5. Hey Nate, I just looked and it looks like you are right! I signed up with them several months ago…like a year ago and at that time they didn’t require a credit card in order to do the free trial, I guess I just assumed (yes I know what that means 😛 )that it was still the same way.

    My apologies and I’ll update the post to note that. Although, I’d still personally take it for a spin for a month to see what it could save you, can always cancel, their service dept is always on the ball when I have a problem.

  6. Hi Derek,

    Would you be willing to share even general stats of how much this has saved you in terms of avg $ per batch of fraud reports plus time involved on the average to communicate the results?

  7. As an adsense publisher I have worried about this affecting my ad revenue a few times.

    People like my husband have convinced me not to do adwords campaigns – anytime he searches on Google he’s automatically clicking on that first sponsored result whether its relevant to what he’s looking for or not – it’s like he doesn’t even read the title or the summary below!

  8. Mike Huang says:

    wow…thank god I do not advertise because I would surely lose money. I mainly advertise on the NICHE advertisers 🙂


  9. @ Chelle – that’s why I set your ad position to stay out of the 1st position until I have a good idea of margins.

  10. This is exactly why people were so hesitant to run content network campaigns for so long. Now that people finally have embraced it, Google is slapping those campaigns. Pretty funny.

  11. i know how much danger is click fraud so as a publisher in adsense i noticed the hard rules in adsense about click fraud so i decide to join adwords because it protect me from this kind of click because it is trusted company , they give me my money back if the publisher cheated them . but i think there is much good companies and also much bad .

  12. Its a losing battle, even now, if you’re tracking a high amount of clicks the average cpc is going up, add on clickfraud and each click increases again.. I assume this stuff just blocks ips right, even countries if the offer is not available there, just guessing.. seems like a good idea.

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