Advertising online is great – especially a “cost per click” text based ad served by Google, Overture or others. However, makes sure that the ads you are paying for are not competitors trying to waste your money be clicking on your ads, or hired guns in China or India clicking on your ad, or a computer system that’s set to click on ads.
Cnet is reporting that In one recent example of the problem, law enforcement officials say a California man created a software program that he claimed could let spammers bilk Google out of millions of dollars in fraudulent clicks. Authorities said he was arrested while trying to blackmail Google for $150,000 to hand over the program. He was indicted by a California jury in June.
Click fraud is perpetrated in both automated and human ways. The most common method is the use of online robots, or “bots,” programmed to click on advertisers’ links that are displayed on Web sites or listed in search queries. A growing alternative employs low-cost workers who are hired in China, India and other countries to click on text links and other ads. A third form of fraud takes place when employees of companies click on rivals’ ads to deplete their marketing budgets and skew search results.
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