Despite growth in the mobile industry and the increase of advertising on this platform, proper metrics are still lacking. Due to accidental or fraudulent clicks, significant ad spend sees no ROI.

Useless clicks translate to part of mobile advertising budget wasted


While mobile advertising budgets have been increasing, there are still obstacles to measuring whether marketers' ads are reaching consumers. A Trademob whitepaper on click fraud illuminated just how significant metrics may be - 40 percent of bought mobile clicks were “worthless,” or had a conversion rate of less than 0.1 percent. Since Pay Per Click is the most common mobile ad network reward system, companies end up spending 40 percent of their mobile ad budgets on these types of clicks. Useless clicks come from click fraud or accidental clicks, and strategies can be implemented so that both sources can be eliminated and that budget waste can be used on effective ad spend.

Accidental or fraudulent clicks come in many forms to foil correct tracking

Poorly placed or designed ad content greatly increase the rates at which a user clicks on an ad by mistake. In 2011, 25 percent of clicks were accidental, but industry changes - such as larger device screens - have helped to bring that rate down to 22 percent. Click fraud is either server-side, or plain, fraud where publishers use servers to report fake clicks; sophisticated fraud relies on botnets of virus-hijacked devices that create fake clicks that the users does not know about; a third type, client-side fraud, uses clicks from the user to activate hidden banners. All of these fraudulent clicks get passed along to get charged with the ad network.

Improving metrics and tracking publisher behavior is a solution

All types of useless clicks can be avoided at least in part - publishers who are known to have created fraud or content that encourages accidental clicking can be blacklisted, and more robust analytics can identify underperforming publishers. While this need for better monitoring and analytics is a great opportunity for IT companies, products have to balance the interests of advertisers, publishers and the ad revenue stream. Trademob’s own platform aggregates ad data and aims to identify and “blacklist” useless clicks while also providing other metrics.

By Ivory King