Unveiling the Mask of Click Fraud

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Click fraud is nothing new. In fact, it’s been exaggerating click-through rates as long as the Internet has been popular – and is one of the biggest threats to paid listings. As search engine advertising fees increase, so do online marketers’ worries about this type of fraud.

Last month, I did an in-depth Insider Report on click fraud.

See what WebProWorld members said in response to the article.

Today, click fraud has grown to almost unbelievable proportions. “Some marketing executives estimate that up to 20 percent of fees in certain advertising categories continue to be based on nonexistent consumers in today’s search industry,” News.com recently reported.

In India, an entire industry is based on click fraud – with many of the “clickers” completely oblivious to the consequences of their seemingly innocent clicks.

But don’t think for an instant that click fraud is limited to developing countries. In the United States, a California man was arrested for threatening Google with click fraud software that he claimed could cost the search engine millions by “stimulating surfers.” Although he didn’t succeed with his plans, Michael Anthony Bradley did seem to be very well aware of the potential harm that could be created through fraudulent clicks.

Google has admitted it has been “the target of individuals and entities using some of the most advanced spam techniques for years. We have applied what we have learned with search to the click fraud problem and employ a dedicated team and proprietary technology to analyze clicks.” The the Securities and Exchange Commission also reported Google’s admission that click fraud is a threat to its revenue.

“If we are unable to stop this fraudulent activity, these refunds may increase,” Google said. “If we find new evidence of past fraudulent clicks we may have to issue refunds retroactively of amounts previously paid to our Google Network members.”

What’s this mean for you? Discuss click fraud at WebProWorld.

Brittany Thompson is an administrator for WebProWorld.com and contributes to the Insider Reports with her regular articles and interviews.

Unveiling the Mask of Click Fraud
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