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Click Fraud

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By mholisitt
Words 596
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NT1110 Lab 10: Click Fraud
Research Project, November 2012
ITT Technical Institute

Click Fraud

Click fraud is a type of illegal fraud that occurs on the internet in pay per click, or PPC advertising, when a person, automated script or computer program imitates a legitimate user of a web browser clicking on an ad, for the purpose of generating a charge per click without having actual interest in the target of the ad's link.
PPC advertising is an arrangement in which webmasters (operators of Web sites), acting as publishers, display clickable links from advertisers in exchange for a charge per click. As this industry evolved, a number of advertising networks developed, acting as middlemen between these two groups (publishers and advertisers). Each time a (believed to be) valid Web user clicks on an ad, the advertiser pays the advertising network, who in turn pays the publisher a share of this money. This revenue-sharing system is seen as an incentive for click fraud. (Wikimedia, Inc., 2012).
Click fraud can be as simple as one person starting a small Web site, becoming a publisher of ads, and clicking on those ads to generate revenue. Often the number of clicks and their value is so small that the fraud goes undetected. Publishers may claim that a small amount of clicking is an accident, which is often the case. (Wikimedia, Inc., 2012)
Much larger-scale fraud also occurs. Those engaged in large-scale fraud will often run scripts which simulate a human clicking on ads in Web pages. However, huge numbers of clicks appearing to come from just one, or a small number of computers, or a single geographic area, look highly suspicious to the advertising network and advertisers. Clicks coming from a computer known to be that of a publisher also look suspicious to those watching for click fraud. A person attempting large-scale fraud, from one computer, stands a good...

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