Click Fraud

The Negative Side of Advertising Your Business Online

Nowadays, many business owners rely on the effectiveness of the Internet in spreading information to millions of people. Businessmen advertise their companies’ products and services online through Google and Yahoo.

Businessmen who patronize online advertising believes that this type of marketing strategy is advantageous on their part, as they pay Google and Yahoo only when their advertisements are clicked by online viewers.

Ideally, this is a cost-effective marketing strategy. However, with the development of online advertising came the birth of click fraud. Instead of business owners saving a significant amount for advertising, what actually happens is the opposite.

For instance, a business owner creates an account with Yahoo or Google to advertise his business online. The businessman agrees to pay Yahoo or Google advertisement fees once his online advertisement is clicked. The search engines then displays the advertisement, not only on its sites but also to a number of affiliate sites, which include “domain parking” companies. These “domain parking” companies then display the said advertisement to a number of  “parked” websites, of which some only contain advertisements. If one of these “parked” websites is owned by an online fraud expert, the add is then circulated to “Paid-to-Read” sites where the members get paid a small amount by clicking on the advertisement, regardless of whether the “clicker” is from a location not covered by the business’ operations. When a “Paid-to-Read” member clicks on the said advertisement, the business owner not only pays Yahoo or Google the advertisement fees, but also those “parked” sites as well. This would then mean a significant loss of money due to click fraud.

There is no doubt that of the effectiveness of the Internet in promoting a business. However, online advertising also has its flaws and click fraud is one major flaw that could cause businessmen a big part of their company’s money.