Click Fraud Causing PPC Armageddon?

Oct 23, 2006 • 8:38 am | comments (4) by twitter | Filed Under Pay Per Click Engines
 

And this weeks 'Armageddon For Paid Search' subject is... Click Fraud (according to the Washington Post).

OK, maybe not put that strongly, although the mainstream newspaper does go to quite some length to unravel the underground world of paid to click.

From her home surrounded by cornfields in Dow City, Iowa, Jackie Park spends hours each day on her computer, earning half a penny every time she clicks on an Internet advertisement. By the end of the day, she usually tallies a few hundred clicks, yielding about $300 a year. It's not much, but it adds up for the 35-year-old mother of five who became disabled three years ago.
And what's an undercover exposé without a trip to a far-away country, let’s say - India?
In New Delhi, small companies place ads in the top English-language newspapers every week looking to hire people who will use their home computers to click on text ads on certain Web sites. One ad offers the equivalent of several hundred dollars a day for spending two hours on the Internet. A visit to the company that placed the ad, Shipranet, leads to a small windowless apartment converted to an office...
As commented on at ThreadWatch, Click Fraud scammers are quite old news and bringing this information into the mainstream will probably only serve to increase the number of people looking to recruit such companies in order to make a quick buck off AdSense. At half a penny a click going to the people performing the mouse-action, it does go to show however where the real money in click fraud is pocketed - your friendly poverty-line recruiting middleman.

Further Discussion At WebmasterWorld.

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Comments:

Jeremy

10/23/2006 05:00 pm

"Hours" each day to make $300/year??? Is she using her nose to click the mouse?

evilgreenmonkey

10/23/2006 05:13 pm

Half a penny equals 1/200th of a dollar (I think). So thats 60,000 clicks a day. Probable pricing model: - AdSense pays out $1 a click (on a hypothetical website/team) - AdSense owner pays scammer 50 cents per click (each a unique user/IP) - Scammer pays actual ad-clicker 1/2 cent So after 100 user clicks: Site owner earns $50 Scammer earns $49.50 Person who actually needs money earns 50 cents. I'm bad at maths (unless programming is involved) - so feel free to correct me.

Richard Ball

10/23/2006 07:20 pm

If advertisers had to actively opt in to contextual advertising, do you think click fraud would *not* be an issue? IOW, if Content Match was off by default in a Y!SM account and the Content network box was unchecked when creating an AdWords campaign, what effect would that have on the perception of click fraud?

evilgreenmonkey

10/23/2006 11:03 pm

Most search agencies and large companies do not participate in the content network, CPAs are just too high in most cases. In this instance you can still pay a "paid to click" company to enter high bid search terms and click on your competitors adverts though. This should push the cost and CPA up so high on those competitive terms that the rival is forced to pull out. Once you've destroyed your competition, your CPCs should start to fall along with your CPAs.

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