SEMPO releases the results of a survey done in 2004. Click fraud is seen as a minor problem currently.
|Statement||All Advertisers||Advertisers of < 500 Employees||Advertisers of 500+ Employees||Agencies|
|This is a significant problem we have tracked||6%||10%||0%||4%|
|It is a moderate problem we have tracked||19%||21%||15%||30%|
|We have not tracked it much, but we are worried about it||45%||36%||58%||43%|
|It is not a significant concern||26%||28%||23%||23%|
|Never heard of it before||5%||5%||4%||0%|
Interestingly, the survey summary claims that advertisers and agencies are currently more concerned about manipulation of search engine results, with repondents averaging a 2.0 on a scale of 1 - 5, agreeing with the statement: "Abuse of search engine optimization practices is a major problem".
My take would be that things change fast in the search world, and it's not surprising that SEO manipulation had more awareness than click-fraud. But I think SEO manipulation is the past trend. There is room for surprise on the click-fraud front since concern about click fraud hasn't reached critical mass in the marketplace. If it does, it is going to have a lot of room to run, since most market participants weren't worrying about click fraud at the time of this survey. Of course, I could be wrong, and click fraud is really nothing to worry about...