“Since the clicks will likely look legitimate, it comes down to intent – did the user click the ad just to click it, or did they have a genuine interest in the advertisement? It’s not so easy to tell…”
Mark Cuban dissects click fraud. The quote above is from the comments following Mark’s post. Good stuff. Reminds me of an interesting bit about Google’s AdSense program. If what they owe an ad publisher less than $10, Google sits on the money. Since the long tail is shaped like a spatula, there’s potentially millions of not quite $10s sitting safely a Google bank account somewhere.
Same goes for Netflix. More than a certain number of DVD shipments per month, and a customer starts to be a liability. Putting faith in customers to sit on a disc for a week or so at a time and it’s no problem. Subscriptions continue to roll in, independent of discs returned.
What if all the click fraud (robots clicking ads) and all the helping-a-friend clicking went away and conversion dropped below 1/10 of 1%?
Seems ad creators have a vested interest in not exposing click fraud – if only to say their ads are “working”.