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Anyways that last guys lines were really creepy. What a loser!
Joe, the chief executive of an Internet marketing company, enjoys clicking on his rivals' text ads on Google and Yahoo because his competitor must pay as much as $15 each time he does it. Eventually, such phantom clicks can add up and drain a rival's budget.
"It's an entertainment," said the executive, who asked to keep his name and company anonymous. "Why do you run into a store without dropping a quarter in the meter? You know it's wrong, but you do it."
Wow scary! Good reason to keep Content syndication off.
I'm still seeing many of the same advertisers on my travel site that I was seeing when AdSense launched in June, 2003. If click fraud was a problem for them, they'd have opted out of the content network long ago.
I suspect that click fraud is much more of a problem with some topics and audiences than with others, just as certain topics attract a higher percentage of "black hat" and other shady types than the norm.
My personal opinion is that fraudulent clicks from competitors and competitive bidders are harder to detect and prevent, and probably more of an issue overall, than clicks from AdSense affiliates.
You don't need to employ anyone for click fraud...a few lines of code and a handful of open proxies or hacked machines are more than enough.
This topic has been discussed at length in the AdSense and Adwords forum, so I won't spend much time on it here, but I will point out something that another member brought up a few months ago:
A jump in clickthrough rate is going to stand out like a sore thumb, so the only way to hide bot-generated clicks would be to increase page views at the same time. And it's going to look awfully suspicious if a site with 5,000 page views a day suddenly leaps to 50,000 a day.