Click fraud was predicted to be the big issue for 2006, and it is certainly turning out that way.
This article looks at potential click fraud issues with Google:
“John Thys still hasn’t figured out how much his company has paid Google Inc. for bogus sales referrals caused by “click fraud” â€” a sham aimed at a perceived weakness in the Internet search leader’s lucrative advertising network.
But Thys says he has uncovered enough of it to conclude that Google is trying to shortchange his company and thousands of other advertisers by offering refunds totaling $60 million to settle a lawsuit.”
The article goes on to say that an independent report may shine a light on Google’s click fraud detection techniques.
“Google is examining ways to make its fraud-fighting efforts more transparent without revealing crucial information that might help swindlers elude detection, said Shuman Ghosemajumder, the company’s product manager for trust and safety….the class-action settlement requires a report from a yet-undisclosed independent expert to verify that Google has made reasonable efforts to weed out click fraud”.
Hopefully, with due diligence and smarter systems, click fraud will decrease. In the meantime, webmasters should stay focused on what is most important: is the spend producing a return? If the return is high enough, webmasters will live with some level of fraud as an inherent part of the system.