At his “blog maverick,” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban states his case for why he thinks “click fraud FAR exceeds what is being published by search companies”:
Hackers have figured out that the risk of proving they are breaking the law with click fraud is minimal. Try explaining the difference to authorities between a blog, a splog and a website that is trying to make money from any of the many, many affiliate marketing programs that also happens to host adsense or other ad publishing network ads…
Hackers have figured out that they look a lot more legit getting checks from google than trying to wash 10k dollars in cash delivered in a bag…
The number of splog/fake websites being created EVERY HOUR is exploding. Based on the comments Im getting on my blog from what must be legions of boiler rooms creating marginally understandable comments , with links back to “affiliate websites” and legit email addresses in an effort to legitimize those sites. There must be just as many more in place to sign up those sites for ad publishing networks.
Cuban also suggests the need for investigative reporting of click fraud. Here at my Digital Micro-Markets Blog, I have been underscoring the need for more inquiry into click fraud as well.
Upon completion of last Wednesday’s Google investor conference call, I noted in my “Google Speak for Google Investors,” that “one seemingly requisite question was not posed by any questioner: What are you doing about click fraud in order to prevent click fraud liability?”
Before the conference call, I proposed two click fraud related questions in my “Ten Questions for Google”:
"Click fraud in AdSense reduces your profits and harms your advertisers; click fraud in AdWords increases your profits and harms your advertisers. Do you do more to prevent click fraud in your AdSense operations than in your AdWords operations?"
Google Inc. is taking the fight against click fraud to court, suing a Houston-based company for allegedly clicking on sponsored links to fraudulently boost advertising revenues…Google filed a lawsuit last week in Santa Clara County Superior Court in California against Auctions Expert International LLC. The search giant is accusing Auctions Expert of abusing the Google AdSense program, in which Web publishers display Google's pay-per-click ads and receive a share of the revenue, according to a eweek.com report.
"Your proposed settlement in the Lane’s Gifts v. Google click fraud suit does not provide for cash refunds to your advertisers as reimbursement for charges from fraudulent clicks: Will you agree to reimburse your advertisers in cash, rather than in Google AdWords credits, for payments they made to you for fraudulent clicks?"
For all eligible invalid clicks, we will offer credits which can be used to purchase new advertising with Google. We do not know how many will apply and receive credits, but under the agreement, the total amount of credits, plus attorneys fees, will not exceed $90 million, according to Google.
Will search engines be more forthcoming about click fraud? Join the conversation: “Talk Back” below to share your thoughts.