Click Fraud Alert: What You Risk with Pay-per-Click

May 2006
by Linda Carlson

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If the Internet is important
in your marketing program, you may be using, or thinking of using,
pay-per-click advertising—aka PPC or sponsored links—with Google, Yahoo, or another
major search engine. No more worrying about whether your Web site will show up
on the first or second page of the search engine’s listings. No more worrying
about what text from your site will show up in any given search. Even better,
you’ll pay only for surfers who click through from the search engine’s site to


But wait. What about click fraud?
Never heard of it? It’s what happens when someone repeatedly makes bogus clicks
on a sponsored link. Recently, click fraud has led to class action suits
against search engines. Google settled one case in March in Arkansas for $90
million; another case is scheduled to go to court in California in May.


The two most prevalent types of
click fraud are competitive sabotage, which can quickly drive your PPC ad costs
up to a level you can’t tolerate, and affiliate spam, which involves site
owners clicking on ads that appear on their own sites to boost their share of
ad revenue from search engines such as Google or Yahoo. (Whether search engines
accurately count clicks—legitimate or bogus—is an issue too, but not part of
this discussion.)


Competitive sabotage may be used
by malicious competitors, unhap…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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