Click Fraud Victims Left in the Lurch

Source Title:
Google, Yahoo Leave Advertiser Holding "Smoking Click Fraud Gun"
Story Text:

Jeff Molander reports on the problems faced by one company convinced of Click Fraud. The company, CharterAuction, were featured in the WSJ regarding the case, but Google and Yahoo apparently refuse to take his evidence, gathered by Lawyers and his ISP seriously....

So, you're probably thinking (like me) hey Mr. McKelvey you need to do your own investigation and hire a lawyer. Well, he's done that and has gathered up damning information from his ISP (against one of his competitors) based on IP address. Even though, McKelvey wants Google and Yahoo to do something about the problem... offer something to control it beyond crediting his account for trivial amounts of clicks when, in fact, fraud is running rampant. One IP address sent about a hundred clicks through his Google and Yahoo ads within a few seconds, a telltale sign of fraud.

So why won't any of the search engines he's buying cost-per-click advertising traffic from give him basic fraud fighting information such as IP addresses of all ad clicks? The answer, as I see it, is clear. Doing so would lead down a path that would allow all advertisers to reduce fraud through taking their own legal recourse... and that's not good for business.

Yep, if they do do anything about it, they're buggered....



Now it begins.

A Long Time Coming

This click fraud situation has to be decided in court. Right now, it's not even technically "illegal" to click a competitor's ad or make a bot that does it for you, at least not in the US.

Wouldn't it qualify for fraud

by intention and effect?

Can't blame the clickers

It boils down to whether or not the PPC provider is intentionally causing harm to a buyer. If I hold out that you are buying "human clicks" and have foreknowledge that I can't warrant that claim I am liable on many fronts if you are induced by my claim and later suffer harm from acting on my claim.

Those standards would also apply to agents. It would be much easier/cheaper to sue an SEM for claims of "qualified traffic", etc.. If google follows its normal pattern of "evil shifting" you could be out in the cold.

"Reach people when they are actively looking for information about your products and services online, and send targeted visitors directly to what you are offering. With AdWords cost-per-click pricing, it's easy to control costs—and you only pay when people click on your ad."

Quite the claim.

Subjective Argumentatives

I've always contended that PPC was a bogus method of advertising. Even CPC has it's problems because it is based upon the same concept - A CLICK.

Imagine if all the other advertising methods in the world charged based upon the number of calls the ad generated. Television, radio and printed ads would be more expensive than they currently are. But, worse than that, the mediums would go out of business.

If the PPC and CPC methods were every proven without a doubt that they can be abused who do you think would pay for those methods? The various advertising mediums refuse to become partners with their advertisers. They choos, rather, to be adversaries of their clients.

The best option is to get rid of PPC and CPC. I simply prefer CPA formulas and would actually pay a considerable margin for the sales generated through the CPA method.

"People" clicks

wouldn't rule out "joy clicking" and downright ad budget sabotage by default, would it?
Bot clicks may be another matter, though of course it would put the burden of proof on the advertiser contending clickage. (Which, as reports indicate, when actually provided, provokes a "we can't be expected to trust advertisers' testimony only" reaction - nice Catch-22 ...)

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