Sunday, September 24, 2006

Click Fraud: Business Week Story

Business Week has an interesting story and a growing comment section on Click Fraud on internet advertising. Check it out.

Fleischmann's daily immersion in click statistics fuels his indignation. How, he wants to know, did he receive traffic this summer from PCs in South Korea which are clicking on insurance1472.com and insurance060.com? The only content on these identical sites -- and five other clones with similar names -- are lists of Yahoo ads, which occasionally have included MostChoice promotions. Fleischmann's spreadsheets revealed, not surprisingly, that all of the suspected Korean clickers left his site in a matter of seconds, and none became customers. The two individuals registered as owning the mysterious insurance sites are based in South Korea. They didn't respond to requests for comment, and most of the sites disappeared in late summer, after MostChoice challenged Yahoo about them.

Fleischmann, like most other advertisers, has agreed to let Google and Yahoo recycle his ads on affiliated sites. The search engines describe these affiliates in glowing terms. A Google "help" page entitled "Where will my ads appear?" mentions such brand names as AOL.com (TWX ) and the Web site of The New York Times. Left unmentioned are the parked Web sites filled exclusively with ads and sometimes associated with click-fraud rings.

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