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SearchTHIS: Click Fraud On the Rise

Kevin M. Ryan
SearchTHIS: Click Fraud On the Rise Kevin M. Ryan

If you have a spare moment, count the number of times per day you are exposed to some type of fraud on the web. Yesterday, I got six emails from phony eBay complaining that I hadn’t spent enough time updating my profile. Bogus PayPal evidently thinks it’s time for me to input more personal financial information at their site. Last week, there was a slight security risk as a credit card company let a whole bunch of information slip into the hands of evil doers. And don’t get me started on the spyware/adware problem -- America is now officially terrified of downloading anything.

With spam, spyware, and intrusive pop-ups, search was bound to have its day in the slime pit as well.

Enter the click fraud problem. Everyone’s talking about it and in order keep up with the suckers born every minute, we have allowed one of the most despicable forms of human behavior to place our search serenity at risk. Advertisers, search sites and the search world at large are now afraid of click fraud.

Just how big has the problem become and what are we doing about it?

What is, is

Owners of competing listings commit click fraud by clicking on competitors' paid listings. There are firms that do nothing but generate false clicks for publishers to get a piece of the contextual search revenue pie. For a list of click fraud types and sources, check out

iMedia Search Editor Kevin Ryan’s current and former client roster reads like a “who’s who” in big brands; Rolex Watch, USA, State Farm Insurance, Farmers Insurance, Minolta Corporation, Samsung Electronics America, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Panasonic Services, and the Hilton Hotels brands, to name a few. Ryan believes in sound guidance, creative thought, accountable actions and collaborative execution as applied to search, or any form of marketing. His principled approach and staunch commitment to the industry have made him one of the most sought after personalities in online marketing. Ryan volunteers his time with the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, and several regional non-profit organizations.

Mr. Ryan is the principal of Kinetic Results, Inc. a New York based online presence management firm.

Meet Kevin Ryan at AD:TECH Chicago July 11, 2005


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