Growing Concerns over Click Fraud

Posted by: Rob Hof on September 22, 2006

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My colleagues Brian Grow and Ben Elgin take a fascinating dive into click fraud, concluding:

A BusinessWeek investigation has revealed a thriving click-fraud underground populated by swarms of small-time players, making detection difficult. “Paid to read” rings with hundreds or thousands of members each, all of them pressing PC mice over and over in living rooms and dens around the world. In some cases, “clickbot” software generates page hits automatically and anonymously. Participants from Kentucky to China speak of making from $25 to several thousand dollars a month apiece, cash they wouldn’t receive if Google and Yahoo were as successful at blocking fraud as they claim.

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Reader Comments

hugo

September 23, 2006 09:02 AM

For your information, there is a U.S patent pending (serial number: 360688) on a technology that explain clearly how to prevent most fraudulent clicks. Search engines are benefiting greatly of click fraud. But search engines may also be infringing on that patented method. In 2002, well before click fraud became widely reported and was a concern for Google and others, before click fraud was an issue among search engines, a serial seasoned inventor, French born Patrick Zuili and his partner thought about the problem and filed this patent in February 2003. Anyone that will be selling software or any search engines trying to prevent click fraud will likely be one way or another infringing in Zuili’s patent. Patent2 watch:
http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=2&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=zuili&OS=zuili&RS=zuili

Al Trammell

September 28, 2006 12:39 AM

I don't know about that patent, it sounds pretty illegitimate. For now, people should just use a click fraud detection service like the one I use at www.clickprotector.com they aren't even expensive.

Kensky Pierre

June 23, 2009 05:47 PM

I know all there is to know about patrick zuili and so call billion dollar lawsuit against google.

jon mackie

August 18, 2009 05:25 PM

I took a look at the patent, seems legitimate for me.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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