A click here, a click there

Click here to watch Shuman Ghosemajumder, Business Product Manager for Trust & Safety at Google, offer some interesting insight into the world of Click Fraud.

Lesson 9—our final lesson in Emerging Media & The Market—focused on the fact that most search engines bank money through paid placement and paid inclusion. As a result of this lesson, I found myself wanting to learn more about click fraud. Does it still persist today?According to WebProNews, even as we approach the end of 2008, click fraud is still something that needs to be dealt with in the search engine advertising industry. Google, however, says that their company takes a number of precautions to keep this sketchy practice under control (Crum).

This isn't really news, but Google's AdWords Help Center details a number of these things that the company does. For one, they employ detection and filtering techniques."Google looks at numerous data points for each click, including the IP address, the time of the click, any duplicate clicks, and various other click patterns. Our system then analyzes these factors to try to isolate and filter out potentially invalid clicks before they ever reach your account reports," says the Help Center (Crum).

Real-time systems filter out activity fitting a profile of invalid behavior (such as excessively repetitive clicks), and Clicks and impressions from known sources of invalid activity are automatically discarded.They have advanced monitoring techniques. "Various unique and innovative methods are applied at each stage of the filtering process, thereby maximizing proactive detection of invalid activity. Our engineers are also constantly improving our monitoring technology, enhancing filters, and examining a growing set of signals," the Help Center notes (Crum).

Google also talks a little bit about how their team uses specialized tools and techniques to ensure it is difficult and unrewarding for people to commit click fraud. They refer to a detailed report from an "independent expert" who examines Google's methods (Crum).

But, despite the fact that Google and other search engines deny that a great amount of click fraud takes place on their sites, advertisers are still leery. For advertisers wanting to take proactive measures to prevent click fraud, Ghosemajumder advises keeping the return on investment (ROI) as the central focus. As he explains in the video, companies should research and gather as much data as possible, test everything, and track all results. If you apply these actions and your ROI drops for no reason, you have a good reason to suspect undetected click fraud and should file a claim.


Crum, Chris. “How Google Detects Click Fraud.” 18 Dec 2008. WebProNews. View the entire article here

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