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Pay-Per-Click Fraud May Be Exacerbated By Economic Downturn

 11:46 am on May 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Pay-Per-Click Fraud May Be Fueled By Economic Downturn [nytimes.com]
“Click fraud should be at the top of the priority list with Obama and the F.T.C.,” said Jeff Chester, executive director for the Center for Digital Democracy, an advocacy group. “The F.T.C. has seriously lagged in coming to grips with the problems surrounding the online ad market, specifically click fraud. It’s extremely important to address the problem because it ultimately affects the consumers, meaning what they end up paying.”

Click fraud continues to be fueled by Web sites that offer to pay people to click on ads to artificially increase revenue. These networks can hide behind servers that mask the click’s origin.



 11:59 am on May 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Wow, Obama shouldn't be anywhere near the internet, what's Jeff thinking? The F.T.C. isn't in a position to monitor the problem let alone solve it, internal self auditing is the way to go.

Those comments are just absurd to me, the F.T.C. can't spot a fraudulent click if it stared them in the eye, ad companies can and do monitor this themselves. Webmasters who pay for advertising know how to track conversions and thanks to places like webmasterworld where information flows freely we can spot shady ad networks faster than ever.

Jeff, using the current state of the economy to press an agenda this blatantly obvious is downright shameful.

edit: The site used as an example even states it was able to track the click locations so there really isn't anything out of control here, let alone something to bother the president with.

[edited by: JS_Harris at 12:08 pm (utc) on May 13, 2009]


 12:20 pm on May 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

"internal self auditing is the way to go"


 12:56 pm on May 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

The ad network itself (internal) is in the best position to monitor it's own activities closely (self auditing) and provide customer service for it's advertisers.


 1:09 pm on May 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

JS_Harris, Google only "catches" about 2% of the fraud from my estimates, others say they catch maybe 5% at best. Also from what I've read Google is the best at catching it so assume Yahoo and other networks have even higher fraud rates. 0% is acceptable - a third party company should audit and suggest refunds to the major search engines. While the recently increased transparency is great (especially on the Google content network), too much fraud still gets in.


 2:44 pm on May 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yea, the government did such a good job watching for fraud on Wall Street that this makes perfect sense.



 3:23 pm on May 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

specifically click fraud. It’s extremely important to address the problem because it ultimately affects the consumers, meaning what they end up paying.

It doesn't necessarily mean that they will consult companies on how to better catch the fraudsters. They may be implying some kind of a severe criminal punishment for people that are involved in click fraud. May be they'll start giving exemplary punishments, like they did with illegal downloads.


 4:18 pm on May 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google only "catches" about 2%

Isn't smart pricing in essence the ultimate fraud prevention scheme? Google doesn't seem too concerned about click fraud. I always thought that it was because smart pricing was doing the job just fine in the long run.

Fraudulent clicks by definition don't convert into sales. So inflating your clicks fraudulently lowers your conversion rate, and in turn discounts the value of ALL your clicks. Get too low, and Google cuts you off.

They don't really need to proactively chase fraudulent clicks. Its built into the automated process, and in the long run it will balance out.


 5:01 pm on May 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is coming from a lobbyist, not a government official. And lobbyists don't tell you what they want. Nor do they care what you want. They tell you that their proposal will solve a problem you're concerned about. It's like marketing in a way. If I want you to waste money on cosmetics....I tell you your failures with the opposite sex are a result of your ugly mug, which my product will hide. Actually, I don't care how well you get along with persons of any sex. I just want you to run to the store and give my friend money.

I'm absolutely sure the CDC doesn't care about click fraud. But I'm also absolutely sure that the CDC is getting money from someone who wants the government to spend more time watching what you and I do on the internet. (RIAA/MPAA would be the obvious candidate, although there might be other people with similarly fascist goals.) And the CDC paid for polls to see what their audience THAT DAY was concerned about? Click Fraud, check, click fraud it is, "our, um, new deoderant will protect you from click fraud."

Most of you guys are IN marketing, you know how it works.


 9:30 pm on May 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

If fraud rates are high, then CPCs go down assuming things are tracked and tied to ROI. If the engines can't control click fraud then people will just pay less for the inventory unless there are artificial floor prices set.


 12:12 am on May 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

There are more players than just Google in the PPC game. I agree that Google does a good job of preventing it the best they can, but just about everyone else is turning a blind eye.


 8:18 pm on May 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

The real fraud problem in the industry is not click fraud, but rather distribution fraud as eloquently described by Ben Edelman in this paper [benedelman.org] yesterday.

I for one am completely flummoxed as to why the industry itself has been so slow to figure this out.

It's distribution fraud, not click fraud that's the problem.


 10:03 am on Jun 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

this is nomal fact,because nobody did not love money!

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