40 Percent of Mobile Ad Clicks are Fraudulent or Accidental, According to New Study by Trademob

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New study of 6 million ad clicks from mobile devices shows fraud rampant in pay-per-click model.

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“Mobile app marketers are demanding a greater level of accountability when it comes to ad spend."

Four of every 10 clicks on advertisements from a mobile device are useless for marketers, according to a new study released today by Trademob, Europe’s leading data-driven mobile app marketing platform. The analysis of 6 million clicks across 10 top advertising networks showed that 40 percent of click-throughs generate a conversation rate of less than 0.1 percent.

Among the study’s findings:

  •     22 percent of ad clicks are “misclicks,” or accidental clicks.
  •     18 percent are overtly fraudulent, due to server-side fraud or client-side and botnet fraud.

The implication for marketers is that approximately 40 percent 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, just more than half (56 percent) 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 percent were due to server-side fraud, whereby publishers instruct servers to report data that mask millions of fake clicks as real ones.

The bright light for app marketers is that accidental click numbers may be on the decline. A 2011 study by Pontiflex asserted that 47 percent of all mobile ad clicks were accidental, representing a 25 percent year-over-year drop in misclicks.

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

Through partnerships with the top mobile ad networks, including Admob (now Google Adwords), Millenial Media, Adfonic, and InMobi, Trademob instantly optimizes advertising campaigns, helping app marketers improve user retention, in-app engagement and even App Store ranking.

Visit the Trademob website for a copy of the full study.

About Trademob
Berlin-based Trademob is a tech startup led by math geeks. Founded in August 2010, Trademob offers its clients an easy and efficient opportunity to promote their mobile apps globally while optimizing mobile marketing goals and budgets. Trademob’s optimization engine and data-driven approach maximize active app users, in-app engagement and mobile revenue. The company’s independent platform aggregates all relevant ad networks and reaches more than 500 million smartphone users worldwide. Trademob has 70 employees and is experiencing 30 percent month-over-month revenue growth. For more information, visit http://www.trademob.com/en.

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Jackie Lampugnano
Walker Sands Communications
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