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Fighting Click Fraud
Oct 18, 2004

Advertisers driving traffic to websites through the use of pay per click engines (of advertisers thinking of using this medium) need to be aware of the pay per click scourge, click fraud.

Unfortunately there are malicious, competitive, and dishonest people in the world who are willing to stoop to any level to get an edge on the competition. It is such people who engage in clicking pay per click advertisements systematically in order to drain advertisers' click funds and ad budgets prematurely.

Who would do such a thing, we wonder. Well, there are actually four different sources, no make that five, who are responsible for click fraud activity.

  • representatives from competitor websites who enjoy dirty competition
  • tricksy affiliates wishing to drive up cost of clicks and ultimately their kickback commission
  • hired professional offshore "clickers" feeding families on click fraud wages
  • software, bots, and spiders, (legitimate or not) who systematically click away
  • And the last most frightening group, angry and hurtful people who fraudulently click for entertainment or spite

Because there is no easy way to fight this malactivity, many advertisers just consider the cost of invalid clicks part of campaign spending. But laying down and paying for a beating is not necessary. There are things advertisers can do to protect pay per click advertisements from fraudulent clicks. The best way to fight click fraud is by catching offenders in the act by examining site stats, IP addresses, and raw logs, keeping accurate record, and reporting click fraud to pay per click engine's click fraud specialists.

The above is no easy task and it is difficult to find good resources for detecting click fraud because those who professionally fight click fraud are hesitant to hand out detection information to consumers because the minute they do, information falls into the hands of click fraud artists who then find new ways to beat the system. For more specific and generally accepted information on detecting and reporting click fraud we recommend reading "Avoiding Click Fraud."


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