I was privileged to meet and listen to Ben Edelman at the Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas in January 2006. His presentations are technical – where the audience needs to know what is a packet sniffer, for example. His recent report has made small waves in various online communities. He accuses Yahoo of being complicit in syndicated click fraud. He says:
In my August syndication fraud examples, an advertiser only pays Yahoo if a user clicks the advertiser’s ad. Not so for three of today’s examples. Here, spyware completely fakes a click — causing Yahoo to charge an advertiser a “pay-per-click” fee, even though no user actually clicked on any pay-per-click link. This is “click fraud.”
This document offer four fully-documented examples of improper ad displays (1, 2, 3, 4), including three separate examples showing click fraud. I then develop a taxonomy of the problem and suggest strategies for improvement.
Ben shows [quote]”video, screenshot, and packet log proof of how spyware vendors and advertisement syndicators defraud Yahoo’s advertisers”.[unquote]