Accidental clicks are not strictly fraudulent in terms of purposeful deceit— but they are a form of invalid traffic, and the impact accidental clicks have on marketing budgets is largely quantifiable.
Facebook recently announced its decision to crack down on accidental clicks; the social network won’t charge advertisers if the user goes back to the original page within two seconds of clicking the ad. Advertising Age and MediaPost covered the news in depth.
But just how big of a problem are accidental clicks in the mobile space, particularly on smartphones?
Someone clicked your mobile video ad? There’s at least a 13% chance it was an accident
There are a few telltale signs of an accidental click. One of the most obvious is if the click happened too fast. Nobody clicks on an ad the instant it appears unless it’s an accident. Using this definition, Pixalate dug into all clicks that came via programmatically-served ads in July 2017 to bring some hard numbers to the discussion.
Smartphone web video ads are hit the hardest. At least 12.61% of all ad clicks from smartphone web video ads served via programmatic were accidental in July 2017.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog reflects Pixalate’s opinions with respect to the factors that Pixalate believes can be useful to the digital media industry. Any proprietary data shared is grounded in Pixalate’s proprietary technology and analytics, which Pixalate is continuously evaluating and updating. Any references to outside sources should not be construed as endorsements. Pixalate’s opinions are just that - opinion, not facts or guarantees.
Per the MRC,
“'Fraud' is not intended to represent fraud as defined in various laws, statutes and ordinances or as conventionally used in U.S. Court or other
legal proceedings, but rather a custom definition strictly for advertising measurement purposes. Also per the MRC,
“‘Invalid Traffic’ is defined generally as traffic
that does not meet certain ad serving quality or completeness criteria, or otherwise does not represent legitimate ad traffic that should be included in measurement counts.
Among the reasons why ad traffic may be deemed invalid is it is a result of non-human traffic (spiders, bots, etc.), or activity designed to produce fraudulent traffic.”