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Click Fraud Detection Versus Click Fraud Protection

Aug 17, 2007
If you have the ability to detect click fraud, you are still left with nothing. Detecting is only the first step towards receiving compensation for fraudulent clicks. Even if you are able to detect click fraud, you still need to present your case to the search engine, wait for them to do an investigation and then make their decision. In most cases, the search engine will rule that you were not a victim of click fraud. Your only other recourse is to join the latest class action suit where you might get a couple dollars in a couple years. Is that worth the time and concern?

When we speak with most people about click fraud, what they are really concerned about is if click fraud is making their online advertising investment unprofitable. Most can live with this unavoidable nuisance if they are still making a profit, as they realize this is just the cost of doing business online.

The best way to address click fraud is to protect yourself against it before or as it is happening, which means protecting your downside (i.e. how much money you can lose as measured in lost profits in the event of a click fraud attack.

One way is to monitor your clicks all day long looking at ROI or cost per conversion. And if you determine that all of a sudden one of those numbers is out of whack, which is an indicator, you can then turn off that given ad, protecting the downside from it. But who has time to stare at their clicks all day long at every keyword just to make sure they are not a victim of fraudulent clicks?

A better option is to be able to use a technology that will auto spot anomalies in keyword performance and turn off keywords that appear to be victims of fraud in near real time. A system such as this gives you the confidence to know that your downside is protected, that click fraud can only harm you to a certain extent and help you achieve your ultimate fear of click fraud that you will not be profitable.

Advertisers need to realize that click fraud is not new to the world of advertising; it is just associated with online advertising. Think about it, if you have a TV commercial and a percentage of viewers change the channel as soon as your commercial airs, aren't you receiving the same value as a fraudulent click? Or, let's say you place an ad in the business section of a major newspaper, knowing their incredibly large circulation will allow your ad to been seen by the masses. As readers pick up their paper, a percentage of them will focus their eyes solely on articles and avoid any of the advertisements or won't even open the business section at all, thus rendering your ad useless.

Click fraud does hamper a percentage of online advertising, but any form of media utilized for advertising has its drawbacks. To be successful advertising online, as with any form of advertising, you have to be willing to accept some of the negatives in order to reap the benefits in the end.
About the Author
Adam is the Chief Revenue Office at ClearSaleing. He is a seasoned sales manager starting insides sales teams at Google and Actuate Software. Adam holds a B.S.B.A. in Marketing from The Ohio State University. ClearSaleing
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