Let’s take a few moments to discuss “Click Fraud”. The phrase is reminiscent of something you might have seen on the 70’s show Fight Back with David Horowitz. Click Fraud, in simplest terms is faking or encouraging unwarranted clicks. This is mostly a problem for advertisers who pay for clicks. Click Fraud costs these advertisers a varying, and mostly unknown, amount of ad money.
The methods of committing click fraud vary greatly. Mostly click fraud is committed by ad publishers. These publishers will sign up for a service such as “Google AdSense”. They will then either spoof clicks from or use deceitful methods to get unnatural clicks. These methods include directly asking people to click on ads that they would normally click on or employing bots and even adware to get clicks. You know it is Click Fraud when the click doesn’t happen naturally.
What can be done about Click Fraud? Google for one uses complex algorithms that look for unnatural clicks. For example, Google can tell if you clicked on an ad but then promptly used the back button. By visiting the target page only briefly, the ad was most likely clicked on by accident or by other means. There are many other algorithms to find the worth of a an ad click, this is just one of the simplest.
A Partial Solution: