Why Yahoo really needs click fraud 'Czar'

Why Yahoo needs a click fraud “Czar
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor
In my Yahoo click fraud initiatives: Exclusive update in January, I projected that Yahoo would make a formal, public announcement of a “Traffic Quality Advocate” by April 30, 2007.

Yesterday, Yahoo made the announcement:

The appointment of Reggie Davis to vice president of marketplace quality. In this new role, Davis will serve as the company's first senior executive dedicated to continually enhancing the quality of Yahoo!'s display and search listings marketplaces.

As vice president of marketplace quality, Davis is responsible for developing and executing a strategy aimed at driving more rapid innovation, greater transparency and faster delivery of product and service enhancements to build an even higher quality advertising network for Yahoo!'s customers. Davis will hire a dedicated staff to manage across all of Yahoo!'s cross-functional quality teams and ensure that customer input is integrated into all efforts to address click fraud, traffic quality, network placement and other marketplace quality issues. Davis and his team will also be responsible for increasing Yahoo!'s dialogue with advertisers and publishers on quality related matters.

Davis, a veteran Yahoo, on his new responsibilities:

In seven years at Yahoo!, I've never seen a more important opportunity to partner with our customers to increase the value of our industry.

Is that the real reason Davis now sports a new Yahoo title? Not exactly. Davis’ prior Yahoo role:

Associate general counsel managing litigation, including Yahoo's click fraud litigation.

Davis undoubtedly helped negotiate the very creation of his new post, with the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

As part of the settlement in Checkmate Strategic Group, Inc. vs. Yahoo! Inc., alleging breach of contract and unfair business practices:

Yahoo shall designate a Yahoo employee as a traffic quality advocate who will be part of a traffic quality group to fulfill the function of fielding advertisers’ concerns regarding traffic quality, including its click fraud prevention efforts, within 90 calendar days of the Effective Date of the settlement.

Next up, as per the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles:

Yahoo shall launch an online traffic quality center, which will be available to its advertisers within 90 calendar days of the Effective Date of the settlement. The traffic quality center will include a resource center which will contain FAQs, best practices documents, traffic quality articles, enforcement guidelines, and an advice column.


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