Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask.com & LookSmart Team to Fight Click Fraud
The top search engines are teaming up with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Media Rating Council in what may become a major effort to combat click fraud. Following a landmark click fraud class action suit against Google, search engines Google, Yahoo, MSN/Live.com, Ask.com & LookSmart are making the effort to stop or control the spread of fraudulent clicking on sponsored link advertisements.
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The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the non-profit Media Rating Council said they are teaming with Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Ask.com, LookSmart and others to form the Click Measurement Working Group.
The group’s mission is to establish guidelines for what constitutes valid clicks and invalid clicks on ads. Guidelines can help the industry measure how prevalent click fraud really is. Third-parties who sell click-fraud combatting services to advertisers claim that click fraud rates are as high as 30 percent. Google and Yahoo counter that click fraud rates are minimal.
The IAB said the guidelines will outline an industry-driven auditing and certification recommendation for search engines, online ad networks, third-party ad servers and other companies that make money from clicks. For example, Google’s pay-per-click ad system requires advertisers to pay a fee each time one of their online ads is clicked.