The Internet world offers people, who make it their place of business, not only great enterprise opportunities, but also some serious challenges. As in any business environment, in the online business there are those, who run their businesses honestly and respectfully, even when dealing with competitors. However, there are also those, who resort to fraud as to the method of fighting their competitors. False clicks are one of such online fraud tools that has raised much discussion among the networks, search engines? and sites? owners. The management of such large search engines, as Google and Overture, is greatly concerned with the increasing use of false clicks for attaining competitive goals or for generating extra profits by site owners. This is the definition Google provides for any deliberate per click fraud actions: ?any method, used to artificially and/or maliciously generate clicks or page impressions?. Most of the largest networks or search engines have developed some protection means against false clicks strategies of certain competitors or questionable affiliates.
Let us take a closer look at how false clicks work and when they can be used by people to ruin their competitors? advertising campaigns or for generating more income through affiliate programs. It is clear that some affiliates try to use false clicks for generating an extra income through their sites. Manually or with the use of specific software they produce extra clicks on the ads, situated on their sites through affiliate programs. Such approach works for the sites that operate on a CPC (Cost-per-click) basis. In some cases, affiliates pay over on thousand and five hundred dollars per month for the useless traffic they are getting through the false clicks operations of their affiliate partners.
Nevertheless, even a greater damage can be done to the networks or search engines through the false clicks approach to handling a competition. Some competitors may ?pause? their advertising campaigns, while a sudden raise occurs on their opponents? keywords impressions. Although all those impressions produce no clicks and no business results, the competing company waits for some time and then produces normal ads with high CTR. At the mean time, their competitors are left to deal with fruitless ad campaigns, run with crippled keywords. Some companies even hire and pay people to manually generate false clicks for them. Such approach to the business competition hurts not only competing companies, but also damages networks and search engines, distorting the statistics and leaving them to make their decisions, based on the fake data.
Such fraud activities endanger the whole world of online business, since it ruins the foundation it is built on. It means that all the parties, except for cheaters, are interested in running honest businesses and getting a protection from false clicks strategies and attacks. The researches show that over forty five percent of surveyed online marketers are concerned about the increase of false clicks attacks, though only twenty five percent of those people consider it to be threatening and try to track it.