Interesting article from the NY Times: Web marketers fearful fraud in pay-per-click. Here’s the intro:
Businesses that pay billions to Google and Overture to steer potential customers to their Web sites are increasingly questioning how much fraud lurks in the blossoming pay-per-click model of advertising.
There is evidence that at least some scammers are clicking away at the ads or having programs called hitbots or clickbots do it for them with the knowledge that each click costs an advertiser money. Some of the troublemakers are disgruntled employees; some are companies trying to force competitors’ ad spending up; some are even Web page operators who let search engines deliver ads to their sites and then collect a cut when people click on those ads.
I only dabble in the world of pay-per-click through Google so I don’t have too much at stake personally. But this is a tiresome development and another example of the vulnerablility of a community to a minority of ill-motivated people. I wonder what innovations will emerge in response?
Thanks to danny g at AdPulp for spotting this.