Friday, February 11, 2005

Click fraud getting more press

Michael Liedtke at the AP writes up a good overview (via Search Engine Watch) of click fraud, but the disturbing conclusion at the end of the article, in the words of Clicklab's founder, is that "advertisers are going to have to accept a certain level of click fraud as a cost of doing business." The question that never seems to get answered in these articles is: what is the limiting factor of click fraud? The answer no one wants to face is that there is none. The pay-per-click model will collapse eventually; trusted-partner networks and affiliate programs will fill the void. Lisa Wehr at OneUpWeb says it best: "Click fraud is like a big elephant standing in the middle of the living room. Everyone sees it and knows it's there, but no one is quite sure what to do about it."