Search Engines On Click Fraud

Aug 21, 2007 - 7:05 pm 2 by

Paul Vallez, Director, Product Management, Search Marketing

Ask originally launched with a smart pricing mechanism. They use performance based pricing. They define base line metrics and then optimize to reach those numbers. They use max billable CPC caps and they also remove referrals that lower their models.

Click Fraud Red Flags: - High density of clicks from a single traffic source to a small number of keywords - Large variance between eCPC on ASL vs other tier 1 networks - Sporadic traffic spikes - Large volume of clicks with no traffic source

Exposing Meaningful Data - Exposing key delivery metrics allows our expert SEM services teams to work closely with our clients (fill as many metrics in the URL)

More Advertisers Controls: Traffic Source Blocking - Advertisers review their click logs to determine which sites are driving down campaign CPA metrics - Important data points include date, clicks, keywords, conversions, and traffic sources - Identify sources of traffic driving up your CPA metrics and work with your SEM manager

Dynamic Ad Delivery - Without pacing rules an advertiser could spend their budget on a single publisher - To ensure advertisers get even distrubtion throughout the day, we've implemented pacing rules to ensure...

James Colborn, Group Manager, Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions, Microsoft Corp.

Invalid Clicks - Partnerships to work on standards - Innovation in tools and reporting - Testing the algorithms and black ops exercise - Technology with real time filtering and offline filtering process - Click investigation with dedicated support team

What are click quality reports? - Click quality reports are a new reporting capability in adcenter to see low quality clicks

Low quality vs standard quality, what is the difference? - Standard quality is traffic they charge you for, the low quality is the traffic they dont charge you for - Low quality includes unclear commercial intent, unusual patterns of behavior, and origin of source

He shows some screen caps of reports

He recommends you go to the adcenter blog, the support page and contact them via phone

Reggie Davis, Vice President, Marketplace Quality, Yahoo! Inc. is now up.

- Marketplace Integrity Team -- They monitor yahoo's partners and recommend actions to improve quality and drive publisher policy

- Click Through Protection System -- Front end filtering systems such as black lists, behavioral, duplicates and historical analysis -- Bad IPs, robotics browser IDs and behavioral rule parameters

Click Investigation Process - CS Triage - CAR Triage - LPA (loss prevention analysis) Analysis

They are noticing a declining advertiser complaint. They only average a 100 complaints a month.

- Quality based pricing launched -- Not all clicks are equal -- QBP Philosophy

- Domain Blocking is coming soon (up to 250 domains at first)

- Traffic Quality Center has been launched

Traffic quality is an ongoing challenge. They have improve communication, increase transparency and provide more advertiser controls.

Shuman Ghosemajumder, Business Product Manager, Trust & Safety, Google Inc. is last up.

There is a legal definition of click fraud and a real world definition.

There are many sources of click fraud including manual clicking to botnets and more. The main incentives is to attack advertisers and inflate your affiliate income.

Detection is similar to email spam detection.

Google builds in an intentionally high false positive rate.

3 Part System: - Proactive filters are automated and real time (proactive response) - Offline analysis (proactive response) - Investigation (reactive response)

- Overall the vast majority of clicks are valid clicks. - Less than 10% are being proactively marked as invalid (no action required from advertisers) - 0.02% of clicks are invalid at the investigation or reactive stage

Detection Methods: (1) Simple rules such as multiple clicks from same IP (2) Statistical anomaly detection such as compare observed behavior and so on.

Features: - Smart Pricing - Reporting with Auto Tagging and Invalid Click Reports - Control with site targeting, site exclusions and ip exclusion

Smart Pricing: - Launched in 2005 - Not related to invalid click detection systems - Maintains a predictive model of click efficiency - Provides strategic discounts to advertisers for clicks prediction to be less likely to result in conversions - Results lead to track effectiveness based on conversion data and ROI

Transparency: - Ad Traffic Quality Resource Center - Second advertiser invalid click forum coming to NY, chapter on click fraud and more.

IAB Click Measurement Working Group - Definitions and standards - Independent audit process for click fraud protection - Industry guidelines

What should an SEM do? - Track campaigns performance carefully - Use auto - tagging for any click data analysis - Become familiar with click fraud false positives - Report any suspicious activity for investigation at

- Google marks hundreds of millions of dollars per year as invalid - Reactively detected invalid clicks are less than 0.02% - Don't rely on averages or industry estimates

Q&A Shuman says the difference between Click Forensics and Google's numbers are like comparing Apples to Oranges. But then Click Forensics disagrees with Google. Click Forensics is saying the 0.02% number from Google is really what? So now we know Click Forensics is not discounting clicks that Google is discounting automatically, because Click Forensics doesn't trust Google.

Lots of confusion here...


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