According to the Apsalar Fraud Index, for every click that results in an installation, there are 2.57 fraudulent or unexplained clicks. While India has a score of 282, Hong Kong tops the index of highest clicks per download at 318. At 29, Germany has the lowest score.
“Indian users had 200 clicks per install, compared with 60 for US users. This is indicative of fraudulent activities,” Justin Fibich, senior manager (enterprise sales) at Apsalar, said in an interview.
While more clicks generally mean more revenue, such cases could put marketing effectiveness at stake. “Click fraud occurs in large part because some bad actor media vendors charge on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis,” said the Apsalar report.
Globally, India is among the top five markets for app downloads. In India, e-commerce firms such as Myntra and taxi aggregators such as Ola and Uber are accessible only on apps. Last week, Google announced the launch of a service that allowed app developers to offer paid apps for as low as Rs 10 for Indian users.
While most CPC media vendors charged only for legitimate clicks, bad vendors resorted to tactics that could increase the click-to-download ratio through invisible redirect scripts, deceptive offers and user interfaces deliberately designed to drive the number of clicks, it said.
“In India, fraudulent vendors are a very tiny portion; they are short-term players,” said Kiran Kumar Uppoor, founder of Digispot Solutions, a Mumbai-based boutique app distribution company. “If you look at frauds, China would dominate.”