|Click fraud - An honest look from the inside|
BusinessWeek article with an interview with a fraudster
|Reached by telephone, Kiss says that his registration name is false and declines to reveal the real one. He says he's the 23-year-old son of computer technicians and has studied finance. He owns about 20 paid-to-read sites, he says, as well as 200 parked sites stuffed with Google and Yahoo advertisements ... He claims to take in $70,000 in ad revenue a month, but says that only 10% of that comes from PTRs. The rest, he says, reflects legitimate clicks by real Web surfers. He refrains from more PTR activity, he claims, because it's no good for advertisers, no good for Google, no good for Yahoo. |
Nothing in this article surprises me. The question remains how long advertisers will continue to pay for clicks that might be bogus. Yeah, I know, lots of you are getting better ROI than on print or broadcast. OTOH, ad budgets aren't bottomless.
If this issue of Business Week doesn't cause a major reaction by Yahoo/OV and Google, for the better, then nothing will. One thing: unless I am mistaken, you can decline the Google partner network, but you cannot decline OV's partners. For that reason I left OV, as the share of traffic from OV partners vs from Yahoo on my keywords was 95% and most of it from places neither I nor anyone else has probably ever heard of. It defies common sense that these unknown, jerky ad mills, would have more people using them than Yahoo does.