Google, Yahoo Team Up to Fight Click Fraud

Dennis Faas's picture

Scams are nothing new for the Internet and its 'netizens.

Whether it be the infuriating advertising brought on by Spyware, bundled adware commonly found in peer-to-peer downloading, or good old fashioned credit card number theft, the worldwide web has been a beacon of crime and mischief for some time.

However, one interesting little scam, "click fraud", is now being targeted by some of the industry's biggest names, and the movement has both the American court and government system involved.

"Click fraud" is defined as the exploitation of pay-by-click advertisements for the purpose of profit. In some cases, it can be used to cost a rival profits by purposefully clicking on their ads and driving up IT costs.

As the pay-per-click advertising business grows with the Internet itself, so too does click fraud. It has become such a problem that some insiders have referred to it as the potential downfall of the online economic-based community. (Source:

But now there's a force ready to fight it. The not-for-profit Media Rating Council and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) are teaming up with heavy-hitters Google and Yahoo to stamp out click fraud. Google, Yahoo, and other participants -- including and the Click Measurement Working Group -- are now constructing effective guidelines to regulate advertisement clicking by what exactly constitutes a legitimate click.

The alliance is still in its early stages and features a few notable divisions. Although many third-party sellers of anti-fraud pay-per-click advertising report that up to 30 (or even 40) percent of clicks are fraudulent, Google and Yahoo are hesitant to admit that the problem is that severe. (Source:

Still the alliance of Google, Yahoo, and others has been arranged because of legal and government pressures to do something about click fraud. With an effective corporate arm and the muscle of the American justice system, it might be possible for the industry to limit fraudulent clicks in the future.

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