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40% of mobile ad clicks are fake or accidental

06 Sep 2012 10:30 BST Back
40% of mobile ad clicks are fake or accidental
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A new study of six million ad clicks from mobile devices suggests that 40% of mobile ad clicks are useless for marketers

Mobile app marketing platform Trademob analysed clicks across 10 top advertising networks in June 2012 and found that 40% of click-throughs generate a conversation rate of less than 0.1%.

Trademob concluded that 22% of mobile ad clicks are “misclicks,” or accidental clicks while 18% are overtly fraudulent, due to server-side fraud or client-side and botnet fraud.

The implication for marketers is that approximately 40% of ad spend generates zero return on investment. 

Mobile app marketers are demanding a greater level of accountability when it comes to ad spend,” said Ravi Kamran, founder and CEO of Trademob. “There’s a problem when only 60 cents of every dollar are actually being put to work.”

Of the fraudulent clicks, 56% were found to be the result of sophisticated botnet and client-side fraud. This type of fraud typically involves an inventory of hijacked devices on which viruses are installed, creating fake clicks that go unnoticed by the user. 

The other 44% were due to server-side fraud, whereby publishers instruct servers to report data that mask millions of fake clicks as real ones. 

Accidental click numbers may be on the decline. A 2011 study by Pontiflex asserted that 47% of all mobile ad clicks were accidental, representing a 25% year-over-year drop in misclicks. 

We are seeing fewer accidental clicks today due to increased device screen size and different user behaviour,” Kamran said. “Still, more than one in five clicks is purely accidental, which can be prevented by proper ad placement and ad verification techniques.”

Posted by

Smarayda Christoforou

For more articles on mobile marketing please visit the DMA Mobile Marketing Council blog. 

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