Click Quality Council Targeting Fraud

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Members of the recently formed Click Quality Council want to speed up the process to establish standards for defining click fraud and valid pay-per-click activity. The white-hot issue of click fraud has become a source of greater concern for advertisers.

Click Quality Council Targeting Fraud
Target: Click Fraud!!!

Fraudulent clicks that are not caught by PPC advertising providers like Google and Yahoo get passed along to advertisers, who then have to go through the process of disputing what they believe is illicit activity.

If the process does not find click fraud has taken place, the advertiser would not be credited for the disputed clicks. This takes money from the advertiser’s budget and pays it to the search advertising provider, and if those clicked ads were displayed on a publisher’s site in a network like AdSense or Yahoo Publisher, that site receives a cut of the ad revenue.

Advertisers have become understandably angered over the process of determining and disputing click fraud. The search advertising companies are equally adamant that they catch most of the illicit clicks that hit their networks before an advertiser is charged.

With both sides at odds over click fraud and the search advertising companies’ intransigence over revealing more of the process behind their algorithms and click fraud determination methods, some advertisers have taken steps to craft definitions of clicks and click fraud.

Lending Tree and Visa have been heavy online advertisers. They, along with ad agencies like Carat Fusion and Agency.com, have joined the recently formed Click Quality Council (CQC). The group discussed their aims in a statement:

The Click Quality Council will provide feedback and insight on issues relating to click quality that can be shared with the industry. Around twenty forward thinking advertisers and agencies will convene quarterly to review news, share ideas and comment on recent developments. The CQC will be moderated by Kevin Embree, former Trust and Safety Director of eBay.

“Our goal is to ensure that the voice of the online advertising community is heard when it comes to developing industry standards that will define click measurement guidelines. Members of the Click Quality Council and online advertisers feel the impact invalid and fraudulent clicks are having on their online campaigns everyday,” said Embree.

The findings of the group will be shared with the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Click Measurement Working Group and other standards bodies. The Working Group includes Google, Yahoo, Ask.com, and Microsoft among its membership.

That Working Group had been established to do what the CQC wants to do now. Advertisers have become impatient with the process and wish to take a more active role in developing the standards of clicks and click fraud. They may have as much trouble defining click fraud as they would in coaxing greater transparency of the click assessment process out of search ad providers.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Click Quality Council Targeting Fraud
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