Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Unintended Consequences

CM comment: Something worth taking note of ...

Not All Ad Clicks Are Created Equal
February 10, 2009: from The New York Times -- In the last quarter, an estimated 17.1 percent of all clicks on Internet advertisements were fraudulently generated, according to Click Forensics, a firm that analyzes traffic on behalf of advertisers and ad networks.

Web sites practice “click fraud” by running Internet ads, soliciting clicks, receiving payments from advertisers for the clicks, and then kicking some money back to the clickers. About a third of the clicking is done by botnets, enormous networks of personal computers that are harnessed and controlled using viruses.

Tom Cuthbert, the president of Click Forensics, said this was the highest rate of click fraud that the company had seen in its three years of monitoring. He said that rates of click fraud, and especially of botnet activity, had risen sharply.

“We think the increase in click fraud is definitely tied to the downturn in the economy,” he said. One fraud making a comeback is the “click farm,” workers who are paid to browse sites and mimic the patterns of a normal user.

Full story at: http://tinyurl.com/bybhpj

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