The business of click fraud continues to grow alongside the growth of digital marketing. In 2020 we’ve seen a correlation between the booming click fraud industry and the growth of sites offering casual work clicking on ads or completing CAPTCHAs to human workers. This click fraud gig economy highlights a continuing challenge to digital marketers and business owners who rely on paid ads to win new custom and generate website traffic.

Our report about the state of click fraud in the gig economy has found that during 2020, sites offering casual click-focused gigs have seen an increase of 40% in sign ups and traffic.

Read the full report about click fraud in the gig economy here.

With entire industries shut down and workers struggling to make ends meet thanks to lockdowns in 2020, these black market paid click platforms have had a great year.

Workers can easily sign up to click for just a few cents per click, and make anything up to around $100 per month. In low-income countries such as India, Vietnam and Venezuela, this is often the difference between paying your bills and not. 

Paid to Click

Paid to click sites (PTC) are nothing new, with the numbers growing regularly. Names such as PaidVerts, NeoBux and AdBazar offer an easy way for people to sign up, download an app, and click on ads to make money.

And, of course, at the other end of the spectrum, these sites also make it easy for site owners to buy ‘real human traffic.’ For just $5, anyone can purchase a nice amount of organic clicks for whatever purpose, from inflating website traffic to fraudulently exhausting a competitor’s advertising budget.

For those looking to make some quick money online, these PTC sites offer lots of options, from watching videos to completing CAPTCHAs.

Work From Home Click Farmers

Traditionally, the image of a click farm is of a warehouse filled with workers or networked devices. Of course, Covid-19 has hugely impacted the options for call centre-style click farms, but this is still no obstacle. In fact, if anything, these paid to click sites have seen this boom because of the decrease in physical click farms.

And, there is also a growing movement of lone wolves and programmers working to create their own software to click on for money.

Covid-19 Click Fraud 

Our report about click fraud and SMEs from earlier in the year found that click fraud surged by up to 21% during the initial Coronavirus lockdowns. Throughout the year, there have been different restrictions in place around the world, but click fraud has remained pretty consistent. In fact, initial predictions of $24 billion lost to fraud proved off the mark, with the figure looking closer to $35 billion. 

Quite simply, it’s been a big year for click fraudsters, and the signs for 2021 look like it’s going to continue to grow.

Programmatic advertising remains one of the most effective ways to promote your business. After all, most of us find solutions online, so not using paid search marketing can mean you’re missing out to your competitors. Using click fraud prevention is still the best way to ensure your ads are seen by genuine potential customers.

One of the reasons why ClickCease is one of the best options is our growing black list which is updated in real time. We track fraudulent traffic, both human and automated, giving you the best chance of stopping the bad guys and letting in the real humans. 

Read our full report about the state of click fraud and the gig economy here.