Click Fraud : Now More Than Ever
We all agree that last year was a banner year for online advertising (up to $9 billion from $7.2 billion in 2003). But a new version of fraud is bringing into question just how good our accounting numbers may be.
Click fraud (a process in which competitors click repeatedly on an advertiserâ€™s link in an attempt to spend down that advertiserâ€™s budget and drive his link off the site) is apparently on the rise. Jorge Zuniga of ClickAssurance, an auditing firm that helps decipher fraudulent clicks, claims that 10 to 20 percent of all search ad clicks are actually fraudulent. Last month Google CFO George Reyes spoke out on the issue, revealing his belief that â€œ[click fraud] threatens our business model.â€
According to Newsweek, Reyes encouraged the community to find a way to a combat the problem, â€œreally, really quickly,â€ and now the IAB is trying to do just that. With the cooperation of Microsoft, Yahoo and Google, the bureau has formed a measurement task force in order to develop a means of filtering out the good clicks from the bad.
Reprinted by permission of ADBUMB, Inc.