How to expose click fraud?

The "FuckedGoogle" blog brings up a good question: how do you prove whether a company like Google is identifying and accounting for fraudulent clicks honestly?
This is important because, as that blog pointed out many times, Google has a conflict of interest in being transparent and solving this problem, as it benefits from the fraud.

The post brings up two possible scenarios: an insider releases some damning evidence or a click fraud artist reveals himself and demonstrates how to circumvent any protection that might be in place.
The problem is that the second scenario is unlikely: click fraud scammers want to keep their activities secret.

How to break this secrecy? Here's a provocative approach.
It only requires 1 million dollars of investement ;-)
You would build a contest: "1 million dollars to whomever can provide unrefutable proof of clickfraud of a certain amount over a certain period of time".
Then you use that proof in a class action lawsuit against Google where you make your million back and more...

A variant of this would be for the DOJ and the de-frauded parties to make a deal with a click frauder, insuring that he would not be pursued and that he can get a portition of any settlement money from the class action lawsuit supported by the evidence he provided.
If the deal takes place because the click frauder was himself sued for click fraud, then the deal wouldn't need to include any financial compensation, only the "get out of jail free" incentive.


Update (2006/07/16): FuckedGoogle now returns a 404. Not sure what's going on.

Posted by Julien on June 07, 2006. Permalink
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A while back, a click fraudster revealed himself:

http://news.com.com/Man+arrested+for+allegedly+extorting+Google/2100-1032_3-5176670.html?tag=nl

The clever fraudsters will know better than to take such a deal. The
less clever will naively go into the negotiation thinking they'll come
off as winners, and get charged with fraud, at the very least.
Everyone will look like heroes because some fraudsters were caught
(until the clever fraudsters strike again).

IMO, to effectively fight click fraud, switch to payment models that
are difficult to defraud. PPC is a bad business model because it is
extremely vulnerable to click fraud.

Posted by: CPCcurmudgeon at June 7, 2006 02:25 PM

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This is an interesting article with valuable information. I have used both clicktracks and adwatcher to prevent clickfraud. What we and many other webmasters are starting to do is invest our marketing dollars into clicktracks, adwatcher or other ad tracker software.
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Mike Baker

Posted by: Mike Baker at August 6, 2006 12:57 PM
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