It is unclear to me who are the swindlers and how they benefit. Are
people clicking on competitor's links to drive up costs?
Not everyone who clicks will purchase, but that's what advertising is
about. Suppliers are working on more directed techniques, as an
example Microsoft is running ads for their search tools, claiming they
have a technique to weed out, a child looking at furniture for her
> By MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Business Writer
> Swindlers have stepped up their effort to fleece millions of dollars
> from online advertisers who use lucrative marketing networks run by
> Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. according to a quarterly report to be
> released Monday.
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Regards click fraud, the swindlers come
in at least two varities: destructive and (presumably) constructive.
The constructive swindlers (often times, publishers who use Google
Adsense) click on all the ads their site displays in order to make
money. Google specifically warns publishers "do not click on the
ads shown on your site." Get the information -- if that is all you
want -- from some other source, going direct to the advertiser's web
site. Google does not want to pay you for your own click throughs
Now the destructive clickers are advertisers trying to 'get even with'
competitor advertisers by 'clicking them out of business'; clicking
sufficiently to run the other guy's advertising budget sky-high and/or
using up all the other guy's self-imposed allotment of click-throughs
so his ad won't appear any longer for that day/week/month, etc. It is
sort of like what is done with spammers with a toll-free number. You
see an 800 number in some spam/scam and you call it just to basically
annoy and hopefully bankrupt the owner, although of course we do not
describe it that way; we try to give our efforts a 'good-faith motive'
on all those phone calls. _But if we can 'teach the spammer' how
expensive it is to spam and give good, bonafide contact information
in the process of his spam_, we feel we have done a good job.
Or maybe they are not 'competitive advertisers' at all, but simply
netters who cannot see the difference between one form of spam/scam
(the informal do it yourself kind) and the more 'officially approved'
kind which comes through Google Ad Sense, so they take the
attitude 'down with all of it'. PAT]