The Internet marketing platform known as "pay-per-click" marketing has grown in popularity, gathering new participants at a very rapid pace. Along with the majority of legitimate businesses involved in search engine marketing and the contextual marketing products tied to it (which place the same ads in sites deemed to be relevant), there come the "fraudsters." Click fraud is naturally a worry to many. Following up on recent coverage of this topic in here (Google's Efforts to Curb Click Fraud and Click Pirates), we'll take one more chance to highlight the subject.
A recent thread at WebMasterWorld Forums was started asking if there is a way to stop someone from clicking on your website if you suspect them of fraud. The member describes finding that a site which offers the "you click on me and I'll click on you" version of click fraud was the number one referring site in his logs. The first thing to do, as pointed out, is to contact the portals that are publishing your ads. Then someone offers code which specifically blocks a website from accessing yours through a link, returning a 403 "Forbidden" error.
I wonder...is this enough to protect yourself from an individual site? Does the click still count in some networks even if it leads to the error page? Join the discussion at WebMasterWorld Forums.
I personally feel that the problem needs to be tackled at a higher level. People do not have time to police their logs to find suspected fraudulent “clicksters,” but paid software does exist for that purpose. One free product that seems to be gaining traction is ClickFraudNetwork. Also, SEMPO is teaming with Fair Isaac to produce an in depth report on the matter.