Revenue Sharing – the Click Fraud Risks

My attention was drawn today to another discussion about newbies and their click-n-fraud requests made on their own sites, along side their links on other sites and in emails. Google (and hopefully the other ad networks) quickly blitz these fraudsters and they find themselves without any advertising at all.

A quick search on Google comes up with examples like this:

click fraud example
It’s been reported and don’t expect to see ads on that site too much longer.

Now that’s easy situation, but what about when the site involves revenue sharing via a joint account? Forums tend to work by letting users enter their own publisher id but Squidoo (in particular) and Zoints (do they share?) have a single account that is used across all user pages.

Steven Rayman - funeral director

This has opened the door to exploitation as Steven Rayman shows us on his lens titled Google Adsense Discussion and goes on to say “I’LL SCRATCH YOUR BACK IF YOU SCRATCH MINE!!!”.

On another lens he says “My corporation owns 5 funeral homes and 3 cemeteries. Currently looking at 2 more cemeteries to purchase by 2007.” – if this is true then why does he need to defraud advertisers of few dollars?

Steven Rayman proves that it’s not just ignorant kids who make this “mistake” but also adults in the so called “caring” professions.

And in doing so you could see Squidoo fail as they struggle to reduce the fraud and endear themselves to an advertising network.

Squidoo are not in the clear however, they should be using Google Alerts and onsite filters to detect this kind of content and activity and, hours after being manually alerted to the problem, the lens should have been pulled from view. I appreciate that there are timezone issues but there are now 30,000 lens – surely some of those users could be brought into an international moderation team to act swiftly on critical issues.

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Sarah King Written by:

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23 Comments

  1. July 28, 2006

    Revenue Sharing – the Click Fraud Risks

    A look at a new wave of click fraud and how it may bring large established sites into disrepute.

  2. July 28, 2006

    Opps didnt realize that it was his url,

    Anyhow that guy is a real jerk,

    The way he can afford to buy all those things above is because he is stealing the money

    What a creep

  3. July 28, 2006

    Yes, a moderation team should be thrown in. How long does Google take to respond?

  4. August 1, 2006

    Good read but we also must remember that if you are attacked by a click bomb that you can easily contact google and plead your case. Webmasters know what there stats are like and can see where traffic is coming from and much much more info on their users. Nothing to be paranoid about imo

  5. September 13, 2006

    Sadly, the website in your 1st example is still showing Google ads on it. Just one of the many reasons I don’t play the pay per click advertising game. The conversions just arn’t high enough to put up with the click fraud…

  6. January 15, 2007

    More and more Parasite SEO frauds are allowed to mutilate Squidoo. It seems they are done destroying blogspot and now they spam Squidoo with no content pages and videosense rubbish.

    I made a lens on it trying to expose some of these people but it has been locked.

    Luckily you can still visit my blog

    I hope these people are dealt with before they destroy this community as well. The initial idea was fun and could have worked.

    AJ

  7. January 19, 2007

    I’ve updated it now a bit with more info.. yet still these people are allowed to go on with their business. Soon Squidoo will become Spamdoo i suppose.

  8. John M.
    April 30, 2007

    I am in the process of designing a revenue sharing site where all content will be filtered by mods.

    Can somebody tell me all possible ways for me to prevent click-fraud on my site? I will be using AdSense API. Users will NOT be required to log in before viewing the site (and thus clicking on Google ads).

    Complicating my situation is that multiple users could potentially share revenue from the same page.

    ThanX!
    John

  9. April 30, 2007

    John – you need to have simple but very clear statements that click fraud is just that. Then you have to monitor your inbound links and content for any hint of users promoting click fraud. When (not if) you find it you need to act quickly, firmly and without appeal.

  10. July 6, 2007

    I’ve seen this before and was unsure if I should report them or not. Just ruins it for everyone else

  11. September 5, 2007

    I really hate these people where they just spoil our reputation in internet

  12. December 14, 2007

    All I really have to say is WOW!!! I Googled myself to see if some articles from my businesses showed up. WOW!!! I see this. WOW some more!!

    Firstly, I didn’t realize it was that big of a deal when I made that lens. Secondly, AS SOON as it was brought to my attention that it was fraudulent I pulled the lens myself. Thirdly, I made another lens publicly apologizing to Google and Squidoo for my actions. The lens was made public for all to see for about a year.

    Now comes the part that you are going to love. I notice that there are Google ads on this site. So I know that you are making money off of this site. Which means that you are making money off of the name Steven Rayman which I own. You have exactly 7 days to remove all traces of my name from this website otherwise swift legal action will be taken. It will include suing for a percentage of the money that you’ve earned from this website plus attorney fees and any other applicable fees.

    Once again, you have exactly 7 days from December 14, 2007 to remove all traces of my name. If you have any questions feel free to email me at STRayman2000@hotmail.com.

    Thank you in advance for your full cooperation in this matter.

    Sincerely,

    Steven T. Rayman DFS

  13. December 15, 2007

    Secondly, AS SOON as it was brought to my attention that it was fraudulent I pulled the lens myself.

    Steve – someone had to tell you that clicking the ads was fraudulent?

  14. CountryBoy
    December 15, 2007

    Steven,
    Stick to funerals because you obviously know Jack Shit about the law!
    CB

  15. December 16, 2007

    I blog about stuff that mentions people and brand names. I certainly think it is my right to express myself and if Google Ads pick up some text and publish ads, OH FREEKIN WELL!!

  16. March 14, 2008

    This is horrible! Come on!

  17. June 24, 2008

    this is a big prob;em for our business, and a big damn money for google..
    a sad truth..

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