In an interview with Andy Beal, Google’s business product manager for trust and safety, Shuman Ghosemajumder, has clarified that Google’s click fraud rate is less than 2% of all “invalid clicks”, which means the actual number is more likely just a fraction of one percent! This in contrast to the 20% or so that most click fraud agencies report. Andy was able to gain inside access to information never before seen outside of the walls of the Googleplex. Whether that was intention or not, it proves that the click fraud rate discovered by most AdWords advertisers is on average less than 2% of all clicks through Google’s system.
Ghosemajumder shares with Andy that Google has a four-stage process in identifying and filtering what it calls “invalid clicks”. The first layer is purely automatic and is used to filter clicks from both search and AdSense partners (contextual ads). The second layer is what Google calls its “flagging system” and is an automatic process to remove invalid clicks from the AdWords system. The third layer of filtering is more of a “manual review” process with more than two dozen Google employees manually reviewing and removing any suspicious clicks. Finally the fourth layer of click fraud detection falls to these advertisers and detection companies and is what Google calls “requested investigations”.
Check out Andy’s “Exclusive: Google’s Click Fraud Rate is Less than 2%” article for complete details including diagrams.