Click Fraud: Hedging Your Bet

ML Aug 7, 2006

Click fraud keeps popping up in marketing news. In a double-whammy, Google announced a tool to let you examine click fraud abuse, and a Judge OK’d a $90 million dollar settlement between advertisers and Google. This was a classic case of, “OK, it’s an issue, and here’s what we’re going to do about it” and appears to be a reversal of Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s let it happen attitude.

MSN just got into the paid search business, with Ad Center. The paid search industry is currently about a $7 billion, with expectations for it to grow to $10 billion, by 2009. It’s in the spirit of protecting this growing piece of pie that Google, Yahoo and MSN announced last week a joint effort to publish click fraud measurement guidelines. Are Yahoo, MSN and Google going to pull together over something that’s just “self correcting” anyway? Hmmmmm.

So, this post ultimately is about the timeliness of HitTailing entering the scene, as the click fraud problem achieves more and more visibility. No matter what the hype or reality behind the size of teh click fraud problem, HitTailing is an excellent way to hedge your bets. Natural search is always the elephant in the room when discussing search marketing. And it is most often overlooked due to the perceived difficulties and obstacles to doing well in natural search.

The long tail principle turns these perceived difficulties on their head. Doing well in natural search is really quite easy when you get your expectations in order. Simply observe how people are finding you, and where you are not already coming up in the top positions. Make those topics into the subject line of a new blog post, and you’re likely to have just won a top position on that term. That’s just how natural search works. Sustained over time this process, known as HitTailing, can result in an awful lot of qualified natural search traffic building up–and offer a viable way to minimize exposure to click fraud.

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