Google’s GhostBusters?

Google’s fraud squad battles phantom clicks: ZDNet Australia: Insight: Security

Don’t miss the second page, due to their bad web page design

Interesting tidbits (or timbits as we call them in canada):

some marketing executives estimate that up to 20 percent of fees in certain advertising categories continue to be based on non-existent consumers in today’s search industry.

advertiser-paid search results are expected to grow 25 percent this year to $3.2 billion, up from $2.5 billion in 2003, according to research firm eMarketer. From 2002 to 2003, the market rose by 175 percent.

On average, advertisers are paying 45 cents per click this year, according to financial analysts, up from 40 cents in 2003 and 30 cents in the second quarter of 2002. In certain sectors, such as travel, legal advice and gaming, the cost can reach several dollars per click.

more fraud-detection technologies are emerging to help advertisers analyse their campaigns and traffic. Some advertisers and search-engine marketing companies say they are compiling lists of sites that generate a high number of clicks but not sales.

Coremetrics, Urchin and are just a few that sell technology to examine click rates and sales that result from paid searches. Alchemist Media, which charges flat fees for its consulting services, has detected fraud while acting as an intermediary between search networks and marketers.

ZdNet also has this related piece Supply shortage could drive up cost of clicks

A.J. had better watch out!

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