While using Google or Overture’s Cost-Per-Click programs are a low cost way for small businesses to start advertising online, the process can be fraught with fraud.
As many of you know, for pennies per keyword, anyone can place a text advertisement and only pay when someone clicks on your advertisement. You don’t have to worry about paying for an advertising campaign that does not get you results.
However, the dark side of cost-per-click (CPC) advertising is that scammers could be clicking on your adv link – generating you a HUGE increase in clicks but LOW or NO sales!
The NY Times writes There is evidence that at least some scammers are clicking away at the ads, or having programs called hitbots or clickbots do it for them, with the knowledge that each click costs an advertiser money. Some of the troublemakers are disgruntled employees; some are companies trying to force competitors’ ad spending up; some are even Web page operators who let search engines deliver ads to their sites and then collect a cut when people click on those ads.