Businessweek has a great article on clickfraud, which you definitely must read. If offers some insights on the PTR (paid to read) business, clickbots and so on. The article is stuffed with personal experiences from both advertisers as people that make money on search engine scams. And although Google and Yahoo are working on solutions, looking at some of the scams, they definitely need to try harder.
Also imagine what the impact will be on online advertising in general, not just search advertising, when a the big search players don’t find a solution soon.
“Randall S. Hansen, a professor of marketing at Stetson University in Deland, Fla., sees a larger lesson in tales of this sort. “We are just beginning to see more and more mainstream advertisers make the Internet a bigger part of their ad budget, and move dollars from print and TV,” says Hansen, who has held marketing jobs at The New Yorker and People magazines. “But if we can’t fix this click-fraud problem, then it is going to scare away the further development of the Internet as an advertising medium. If there is an undercurrent of fraud, then why should a large advertiser be losing $1 million, or maybe not know how much it is losing?”