Click Fraud Hysteria
Ian Lurie Aug 26 2005
I’m sure you’ve all heard of click fraud by now. In case you haven’t, here’s a quick primer: Click fraud occurs when someone clicks repeatedly on a pay per click advertisement (say, a Google Adwords ad) for the sole purpose of spending the advertiser’s money.
Click fraud has become a cottage industry. Folks worldwide get paid to do nothing but sit at their computers and click on paid ads. But is this the fall of pay per click advertising? I don’t think so.
I’ve been running pay per click campaigns for about seven years, give or take. I’ve never had a client seriously impacted by click fraud — by ‘seriously’ I mean they’ve lost more than about $10 to suspected click fraud in a single month.
The key is conducting smart campaigns. If you spend $10/click, then twenty fraudulent clicks costs you $200.00. You’re very, very vulnerable because every fraudulent click costs a fortune.
If, on the other hand, you spend $.20/click, then twenty fraudulent clicks costs only $4.00.
Remember, smart pay per click isn’t about the number one spot — it’s about bidding for keywords and positions that generate a return.
I’m not saying you should ignore click fraud — keep one eye on your web statistics. But if you really want to worry about something, focus on conversion rates — that, you can control. You can’t do much about someone in Lichtenstein getting paid $.01 per click to click on your ads.
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More