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What is Click Fraud

Jun 6, 2008
Click fraud is a risk that goes along with doing any kind of pay per click advertising as part of your Search Engine Marketing strategy. Pay per click advertising can help you be sure that you're getting some kind of return on your advertising investment because you're only paying when someone clicks on your ad and goes to your site but not everyone clicking on your ads is interested in your products or services. Click fraud is when someone that has no interest in your products or services repeatedly clicks on your ad just to make you pay more money. It sounds like something that petty and spiteful person would do to one another but click fraud can lead to huge advertising bills for companies who aren't getting anything in return for that money.

Anyone that uses search engine optimization wants to advertise their website and try to get more traffic but the point of using search engine optimization is to reach your target market and get members of your target market to click on your website. Search engine marketing and search engine optimization are safer bets than pay per click advertising because of the high risk of click fraud that comes with pay per click advertising. The biggest search engines like Google and Yahoo have built automated click fraud management programs to try and combat the growing problem of click fraud but it still happens everyday to lots of companies.

A larger company might not notice the click fraud until they end up with an advertising bill that is three or four times higher than they expected. When that happens a click fraud management team from the ad company will step in and try to determine if click fraud is responsible but unfortunately the law hasn't quite kept up with the changing technology when it comes to click fraud. There are several large click fraud cases that are still pending in the courts. Companies feel that they shouldn't have to pay huge advertising bills as a result of click fraud and that the ad companies have a responsibility to create a click fraud management system to keep click fraud from happening and the ad companies feel that the companies are responsible for the costs incurred by click fraud.

Click fraud isn't just done by a single person or a group of people sitting at their computers clicking on a company's ad over and over. There are automated programs that are designed to click on an ad thousands of times per day which can mean an astronomical bill for companies without giving them any new business. The new click fraud management programs that are being rolled out by the major ad companies and search engines are alleviating some of the click fraud problem but click fraud will almost always be a risk when you're doing pay per click advertising. Search engine marketing with just plain old search engine optimization is a safer methods to drive traffic to your website although they may or may not drive as much traffic to your website as a few pay per click ads would. A combination of SEO and PPC with the right click fraud protection can be the a great strategy.
About the Author
Before you do anything go to Terry Stanfield's site for information on Search Engine Marketing and related info about Click Fraud Management .
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