Fighting Click Fraud

By Deane Barker on July 20, 2004

Exposing click fraud: This is why I think that, ultimately, pay-per-click business models are flawed for the advertisers.

[…] some marketing executives estimate that up to 20 percent of fees in certain advertising categories continue to be based on nonexistent consumers in today’s search industry.

[…] Human operations can be more difficult to detect because a wide network of people can click on ads from different computers across many regions, without a steady pattern. According to a report in the India Times, residents are being hired to click paid links from home, with the hopes of making between $100 to $200 per month.

I think the future is pay-for-performance (the advertiser only gets paid if someone actually puchases something).

This is an evolution, but so was the original pay-per-impression model that’s slowly vanishing these days. I remember when pay-per-impression began to lose favor, site owners protested by saying, “But that’s how it works on TV and radio…”

However, with those mediums, you can’t easily measure performance. With the Web, you can. That fact led to the demise of per-per-impression, and I think it will eventually lead to the demise of pay-per-click too. Pay-for-performance is pretty foolproof — the merchant doesn’t pay until they have cash in hand, and that’s hard to spoof.



  1. This is the case with Dell ( anyway). You can provide a link to their site from yours. If someone clicks through your link and purchases goods in that session, you will recieve 1% (I think?) of the total purchase.

  2. While pay for performace is hard to spoof, it is easy for the purchaser to keep you from getting your cut. All they need to do is strip info from the URL, or if it’s encoded, they can re-ener the site and find the item again.

    I find this happens with amazon. I click on a link, the one-click is not turned on. After sverl clicks and some bookmark loads, the info back to the referring site is gone.

    Different problem from fraud, but sites are going to want to make damn sure they get thier money now that you only get paid for purchase

  3. I have been looking tor a loan for last couple of months,but have over last months have been brockers take 150 pounds out my bank account,also,a company called ukloanlenders persueded me and i class myself off into part with 100 pounds,and all because i have a low credit im out offf [ocket with no chance off getting because they trfuse to answer my calls

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