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|Now Publishers are "recycled ads" outlets|
Businessweek puts slam on AdSense publishers
In the new Businessweek article [businessweek.com] on click fraud, the article consistently and repeatedly refers to the content network as an outlet for "recycled ads" that search engines use to "boost" their profits. The word "recycled" is used 5 times in this article to refer to content network ads.
Wow, talk about beating the drum of lousy PR for AdSense publishers! The article really makes us sound like the dregs of the advertising world, and makes the SEs sound downright sleazy just for putting ads on our websites (quite apart from the issue of click fraud).
The quotes from Google reps continue their strategy of yelling "no problems!" while humming loudly and putting their fingers in their ears. But the article cites an example of a big AdWords buyer who repeatedly told Google that a particular AdSense publisher was delivering invalid clicks. Google denied and minimized, and then essentially said "uh, yeah, guess something's going on there we weren't detecting."
Geez, what a PR disaster this article is for AdSense. Google better get on top of the perception that AdSense is a giant rip-off for advertisers real quick, because the AdSense image is on a real downhill slide now.
|Enforcement is lax while the dollar volume is still in the eight or nine figures, but as we approach the trillion dollar mark the noose will prevail. Fraud is illegal in every jurisdiction, time is on the side of the legitimate actor. |
An order or two of magnitude of revenue increase won't cause some (formal) solution to click fraud to emerge, or some miracle law enforcement to appear that magically catches fraudsters. The reason is because of all the projections (including those made by people in this forum) that revenues will continue to go up. If such a solution was possible, it would have been invented and deployed already in anticipation of the higher revenues.
|If such a solution was possible, it would have been invented and deployed already in anticipation of the higher revenues. |
You just don't understand how these things work. Human progress is always written in blood, remedies are always reactionary.
Foresight in these matters is very rare, the courts only deal with wrongs already committed.
There is no space here for the history of legislation and law enforcement. Most formal studies ignore the influence of the pervasive institutional corruption that defines most situations like this.
We will see the day when a click-fraudster is jailed, I'm confident of this.
|Many parked domains are misspellings of common sites. The users may be confused and start clicking to try to get off of those sites. There are a lot of people who become confused when they don't get to the place they think they should be, and clicks from those sites would tend not to convert. |
Indeed I have found a couple of parked domains that are one letter misspelling's of my domain name. It is obvious that the owners of those domains are just waiting for careless fingers. This type of domain squatting does not serve the interest of users and the ad revenues gained from these domains is illegitimate (even if it isn't illegal). Any ad clicks generated by these domains are most probably some disoriented user who is clicking to escape the parked domain in question, not realizing they mistyped the correct domain. I myself have had my heart skip a beat or two when I accidentally mistyped my domain name and ended up at one of these parked domains.
I'd buy the typo domains of my domain from the individuals that registered them to help users trying to find my site get to the right spot, but I'm not willing to spend more $200 to buy those domains as I'm sure this already is more money than they will ever make from advertising on those typo domains.
|You just don't understand how these things work. Human progress is always written in blood, remedies are always reactionary. |
OK, for starters, in order for law enforcement to reliably and robustly catch click fraudsters, laws would have to be created that defined click fraud in such a way that people suspected of committing it could be investigated, arrested, and taken to trial. Furthermore, such laws would have to be enforced consistently across all national boundaries.
For such legislation to get that far, there would have to be some technical investigation of how click fraud occurs in the first place. Undoubtedly, the issue of how trivial it is to commit PPC fraud would come to light. Legislators would question why the PPC mechanism is preferred when others (such as fixed fee ad payment) are far less subject to fraud, and thus require far less (costly) enforcement.
|We will see the day when a click-fraudster is jailed, I'm confident of this. |
I'm sure click fraudsters will be jailed. There have already been some caught. That doesn't change the fact that as long as PPC fraud is trivial to perpetrate, and fraudsters can make money, click fraud will continue to rise.
|That doesn't change the fact that as long as PPC fraud is trivial to perpetrate, and fraudsters can make money, click fraud will continue to rise. |
If only the trivial continue it will simply be overhead, just like shrinkage (theft) in retail. Click-fraud will rise proportional to volume served.
|Legislators would question why the PPC mechanism is preferred when others (such as fixed fee ad payment) are far less subject to fraud, and thus require far less (costly) enforcement. |
How very Soviet. Central planning is kaput, even in Russia. :) When PPC volume reaches a trillion dollars (or at some point long before that) legislators will be competing to protect it. Google does K Street (where the Washington lobbyists are).
[edited by: Andreals at 2:40 am (utc) on Oct. 9, 2006]
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