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The Search Engines are in a unique position when it comes to Click Fraud. On one hand they benefit from it. The amount of revenue attributed to Click Fraud varies depending on who you ask, but everyone agrees that if illegitimate clicks were completely eliminated, all major Search Engines would suffer a significant hit to their revenues and stock prices. However, Search Engines also realize that long term health of industry depends on establishing trust with their advertiser base. Going forward we can expect to see Search Engines deploy increasingly sophisticated methods to eliminate fraud, and corresponding responses from dark side of Search Advertising industry.
Decreasing The Amount OF Click Fraud For Your Campaigns.
While it’s impossible to completely eliminate fraudulent traffic, there are some things you can do to increase percentage of good traffic from your investment in Pay per Click Advertising.
As a rule of thumb, more a Pay Per Click Ad network depends on affiliates for its traffic, more susceptible it will be to fraud. The reason why overall traffic quality is better on Google, Yahoo and Lycos is that each of these sites has their own branded destination where consumers go to search. If you advertise on these sites you know where your ads will appear (although even these bigger sites use affiliates to varying degrees). Once you venture into second tier Pay Per Click networks however you’ll find that almost all of their traffic is generated through partner sites. Companies like Kanoodle, Enhance etc…don’t own sites where people go to search web. Nearly all their traffic is generated through their affiliates which makes it more difficult to control fraud.
Unfortunately, click fraud is a necessary evil of Pay Per Click Advertising, at least for now. However, as with most aspects of PPC Advertising everything eventually boils down to conversions and profits. If your campaigns are generating enough quality traffic to meet your conversion metrics you should continue to invest in campaign, even if some of clicks are fake. If your traffic is riddled with too many automated clicks it will eventually become obvious in your conversion numbers, and you should stop campaign and put your money into pay Per Click networks that control more of their own traffic.
Stan Hauser is a leading expert in effective Pay Per Click Advertising strategies, and the creator of http://www.pay-per-click-advertising-guide.com