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40% of Mobile Clicks Are Fraud?

Scrolling on a smartphone is simpler than it is on a desktop or laptop computer for most people. All it takes is a simple, single-finger swipe upward or downward and the page will scroll. Smartphone manufacturers have now perfected the scrolling functionality of their devices. However, it can present a problem to many marketers, just as sites that are not optimized for mobile devices can. The reason for this is that, when scrolling on my Android device, I personally make an accidental click at least once every ten minutes. It is just something that I have gotten used to, and a similar problem occurs on sites that are mobile-optimized. When trying to click one link, I may accidentally click one that is far from what I was trying to click, as the site is so compacted on a smartphone screen. According to a new study, I am definitely not alone.

According to a study by Trademob, a mobile app marketing company, there have been a lot of fraudulent clicks that marketers are mistaking for genuine results. Here is what they wrote in their blog;

In June 2012, we conducted a study of six million mobile clicks across 10 global ad networks. An enormous 40% of paid-for clicks were found to be completely worthless showing a conversion rate from click-to-download of below 0.1%. Further analysis showed that 18% of these were highly indicative of click fraud and 22% happened accidentally.

That said, though, there really is not much that can be done about it, other than more optimization of mobile ads for the devices they will be shown on. The best that marketers can do as of right now is just to find out exactly what clicks are real and what ones are not. In that way, one can find a better, more accurate reading of their results. Not knowing which clicks are fraudulent can really give marketers a skewered perspective on the performance of their mobile marketing campaigns.

It is not only on mobile devices that this takes place of course. It has pretty much always been a problem with digital internet marketing. Trademob describes the problem well in their blog post by saying:

Online click fraud has long been a problem for advertisers and unfortunately, with the huge mobile marketing expenditure presenting an extremely lucrative opportunity for fraudsters, the mobile PPC industry isn’t safe from click fraud either. Trademob’s recent findings show the full extent of the issue and how it can be helped.

With their findings showing the issue for what it is completely, Trademob offers in their newest Whitepaper some methods for avoiding or just dealing with these fraudulent clicks. As I stated above and as is common knowledge, these clicks that are not genuine are hard to avoid. When they do happen, though, it is important to know the difference between actual conversion rates and apparent conversion rates. A fraudulent click or two can really mess up the results of an advertising campaign, but mobile advertising will always be effective.

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Pesach Lattin

Pesach "Pace" Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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