Aug 22, 2007 118 reads by Navneet Kaushal

In this session, search engines discuss how they deal with click fraud concerns.


  • Jeffrey K. Rohrs, VP, Agency & Search Marketing, ExactTarget


  • James Colborn, Group Manager, Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions, Microsoft Corp.
  • Paul Vallez, Director, Product Management, Search Marketing
  • Reggie Davis, Vice President, Marketplace Quality, Yahoo! Inc.
  • Shuman Ghosemajumder, Business Product Manager, Trust & Safety, Google Inc.

First to speak is Paul Vallez from initially began a smart pricing mechanism though they currently have adopted pricin based on performance. uses max billable CPC caps. also does not allow referrals that brings down their models.

Click Fraud Alarms:

  • A high density of clicks from just one source of traffic to a minimal number of keywords.
  • A high amount of clicks from no traffic origin.
  • Irregular traffic spikes
  • Differences between eCPC on ASL vs other tier 1 networks

Revealing key delivery metrics (meaningful date) lets's SEM personnel operate closely with their clients.

Traffic Source Blockage

  • Date, keywords, traffic sources, conversions clicks are all vital data points.
  • Discovering the origin of traffic that is shooting up your site's CPA metrics and accordingly work with your SEM personnel.
  • Advertisers analyse their click logs to deduce the source (websites) that is lowering their campaign's CPA metrics.

Dynamic Ad Delivery

Advertisers are better off spending their money on one sole publisher

Pacing rules have been implemented so that advertisers get even distribution.

Next up was Microsoft's James Colborn.

Invalid Clicks-

  • Technology that uses real time filtering (also includes offline) procedure.
  • The latest in tools and invalid tools reporting
  • collaboration with others to improve standards
  • Click investigation with dedicated support team
  • Analyze clicks with a great support team.

Definition of Click quality reports– A new reporting feature used in Microsoft adCenter to view low quality clicks.

Difference between standard quality and low quality:

  • Standard quality charges traffic while low quality does not charge for its tarffic.
  • Low quality comprises dubious commercial intent, unusual patterns of behavior, and origin of source

Colborn suggests reading the adcenter blog, visiting the support page or else contacting them via phone.

Next is Yahoo! Guy, Reggie Davis to discuss how his company deals with Click Fraud.

Reggie says Yahoo! has a Marketplace Integrity Team whose job is to screen Yahoo's partners while also suggesting actions to better the quality and drive publisher policy. Yahoo also utilizes a click through protection system. Front end filtering systems such as black lists, behavioral, duplicates and historical analysis. Bad IPs, robotics browser IDs and behavioral rule parameters.

Some of the procedures that Yahoo! Undertakes to tackle click fraud are:

  • LPA (loss prevention analysis) Analysis
  • Click Investigation Process
  • CAR Triage
  • CS Triage

Apparently, Yahoo! Is seeing a lower rate of advertiser's complaints. Currently they receive an average of just 100 per month. Just recently, Yahoo! Search Marketing unveiled their Quality based pricing and their latest Traffic Quality Center.

Yahoo! Maintains that not all clicks are the same. It also pays attention to QBP Philosophy. Soon, Yahoo! will launch Domain Blocking (which will use around 250 domains initially).

The recent Traffic Quality Center is a process that is still developing as they have to continually better communication, let advertisers have more say and also raise the rate of transparency.

Closing the discussion was Google's Shuman Ghose Majumder.

Shuman says according to Google there exists a legit meaning of click fraud and a real world definition. Manual clicking, botnets are alk examples of click fraud.

Detecting click fraud is the same as detecting spam in email. Google takes great precautions and henceforth has deliberately created a high false positive rate.

Google adopts a three tiered system:

  • Proactive response – Proactive filters are automated and real time
  • Proactive response – Offline analysis
  • Reactive response – Investigation

So far, most of the clicks are legitimate clicks. Just less than 10% are being proactively considered invalid while 0.02% of clicks are invalid at the investigation or reactive stage.

Detecting click frauds:

  1. Manifold clicks from one IP
  2. Statistical anomaly detection. This involves making a comparison of observed behavior etc.


  • Smart Pricing
  • Invalid Click Reports which include auto tagging.
  • Control with site targeting, site exclusions and IP exclusion

Smart Pricing:

  • Introduced in 2005
  • Separate from invalid click detection systems
  • Sustains a predictive model of click efficiency
  • Gives key discounts to advertisers for clicks prediction which are deemed less possible to result in conversions
  • Results lead to track effectiveness based on conversion data and ROI


  • Google Ad Traffic Quality Resource Center
  • More on invalid click on a forum due in NY which will have a chapter on click fraud and more.

IAB Click Measurement Working Group

  • Meaningss and standards
  • Click fraud protection will undergo an independent audit process
  • Industry guidelines

What should an SEM do?

Carefully track performance of campaigns.

Utilize auto – tagging for the purpose of click data analysis

Learn about click fraud false positives

Inform authority in case of dubious activity for investigation at

More from Google

Every year 100s of millions of dollars is marked as invalid

Reactively discovered invalid clicks have a share of just 0.02% or lesser.

Averages and industry estimates are unreliable.

SOURCE: SE Round Table

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
Most popular Posts
Upcoming Events
Events are coming soon, stay tuned!More