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Any stories of click through fraud here, either succesful or not?
I'm just interested thats all.
I am sure some click fraud is successful, at least for a while, but unless you have some pretty neat ideas, chances are it's been tried before, and has already been rumbled.
The risk will also vary with which country you are in; where Google is well established, a prosecution is probably more likely. Where they cannot do that, I suspect they operate much closer to zero tolerance, and would be crazy to give you the benfit of the doubt.
But your guess is probably as good as mine :)
writing a script to skip randomly across anon proxies
I have no idea about any others but I do know that the AdSense Preview sites I use whilst showing ads state:
The Adwords advertisers will be not be charged for the ad impressions or clicks generated through this tool.
You don't search using Google, Google does search you ;)
Isn't a realistic rate what it was receiving before dropping the clickbot into the site? To me that appears to be the flag waving at Google's algo.
...but these are still things that could be designed into a script...
That's debatable, and here is why. You don't have the massive amount data to accurately model the statistical/historical occurences of specific browsers, IPs, referrer data, and more. Google is working with data direct from ISPs, their own search engine, the AdWords program, as well as data culled from GA and other sources. Massive amounts of data upon which they can create statistical models for what is normal and what is not.
That's not to say it can't be done. I imagine there are some who can probably get it to work, but I suspect the industrious clickbotter will have to obtain a lot of log files in related niches and calculate the averages. However, this is the easy part. It gets harder.
gradual increase of traffic over time
Across the entire Internet? This is, I suspect, the hard part.
This is what I can think of that the clickbotter and all the other scammers are up against, inlcuding the ones riding their bicycle to thirty different internet cafes and clicking ads. This is what the click farms are up against when they're buddy clicking each other's ads. That's why people show up here lying about being innocent about getting banned and asking if they could reopen the account in a "brother's" name, etc.
[edited by: martinibuster at 9:12 am (utc) on Aug. 7, 2008]
So, let me get this straight, you think that Gotham City's richest, most powerful and ruthless businessman spends his spare time as the most effective crime fighter in the city, tracking down and beating up criminals. And you are intending to blackmail him?*
So, you recognise that Google is the most powerful force on the internet today, with an army of PHDs, and a record of suspending accounts and closing them, without compensation, notice or appeal. They've proved to the nth degree how sophisticated their systems are. And you think you and your pals can get away with a 2003-style click fraud?
*apologies for errors in memory!