The End of Click Fraud?

There's an article in the NY Times (I'm not going to bother to link to it since it'll be gated soon) today that is causing a bit of a stir in the pay per click (PPC) world. In the article, a representative from Google states that in a few months advertisers will be able to see what URLs their advertising is appearing on. They will also have the ability to bid on specific sites rather that just on keywords.

Aside from all the added flexibility this adds, I'm wondering if this change will also reduce click fraud. In this case I'm talking about the fraudsters that build websites for the express purpose of displaying contextual ads and then arranging for third-parties to click on those ads. I'm thinking this reduction in click-fraud might come about because advertisers will now have the information necessary to figure out what sites they want excluded. And from this exclusion data, Google could aggregate every advertiser's selections, search the data for patterns in what is excluded, and then be left with a relatively short list of questionable websites that they should review or filter.

So not only will the fraudsters lose out on the revenue from advertisers that have excluded their websites, but they may also be penalized by Google for having low-quality sites. Far-fetched? Maybe, but Google is pretty good at taking large amounts of data, analyzing it, and then building algorithms to apply automatic changes to their systems.

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