Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Click fraud is a scam involving setting up a website affiliated with a major search engine, displaying pay-per-click advertising from the search engine and then using various methods to fraudulently increase the number of clicks to the advertiser from the affilate website. The affiliate website receives a portion of the money generated by the click throughs even though the clicks were not generated by genuine customers.
Click fraud is possible due to relationships that the major search engines such as Google have with owners of third-party websites. Anyone can display advertisements from these search engines and receive a payout each time someone clicks on a sponsored link. The click fraud occurs when organised criminals set up websites and have lots of clicks simulated by a script (possibly through a botnet), or even pay workers in low-wage-countries such as China and India to sit and click on the links.
Since pay-per-click keywords can cost up to $50 per hit, organized criminals can generate significant profits. Ultimately the consumer pays the price to fund development of sophisticated methods to identify such fraud and refund advertisers who are targeted. Advertising fraud is not new; there is an extended history of problems in this area due to lack of regulation and robust and trustworthy auditing capability.
Currently, there are companies that provide Click Fraud Auditing and Refund services.
- Click Fraud.
- "Exposing click fraud." C|NET. Retrieved October 4, 2004.
- "Understanding Click Fraud & Industrial Sabotage." ClickRisk.
- "Google CFO: Fraud a Big Threat." CNN Money. Retrieved December 2, 2004.
- "Mice Attack: Internet scammers steal money with 'click fraud'." Newsweek. Retrieved January 18, 2005.
- Stricchiola, Jessie C. "A Brief History of Click Fraud."
- "Click Fraud: How to Detect and Stop a Growing Problem" Pay Per Click Analyst. Retrieved April 18, 2005.
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