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Old 01-09-2005, 06:04 PM   #1

Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: St. Louis, Missouri USA
Posts: 3,015
Exclamation How Google detects click fraud

Have you ever wondered how Google detects click fraud? Some of you might already have some pretty good ideas.

Following is a portion of an article. This portion tells how Google detects click fraud - at least as much as Google is willing to tell about it.

For its part, Google uses its own proprietary technology to analyze clicks to determine whether they fit a pattern of activity intended to artificially drive up an advertiser's costs.

"Our system automatically distinguishes between clicks generated through normal use by users, and clicks generated by unethical users and automated robots, enabling us to filter out invalid clicks," Kamangar said.

Google provided three examples of techniques it uses to detect invalid click activity. First, it employs standard click monitoring techniques; examining every click into its system based on signals such as IP address, duplicate clicks, and other basic click patterns for invalid click activity.

Second, Google uses advanced monitoring techniques developed by a team holding PhDs in computer science, statistics, and mathematics to detect and handle invalid click activity. "This group has developed innovative and effective proprietary security mechanisms which we continually augment and improve to adapt to changes in invalid click behavior," Kamangar said. "We invest in research and development to continually upgrade our detection mechanisms to proactively combat invalid click activity."

Finally, Google employs a team of technical specialists whose job is to manually investigate individual cases where click fraud is suspected. "The team uses specialized tools and a wide variety of techniques based on extensive experience tracking and monitoring invalid click activity," Kamangar said. "When signs of invalid click activity are detected, this team has advanced resources for identifying the perpetrators of this activity."

If a Google review reveals invalid click activity, advertisers are credited and publishers may have their payments adjusted. Additionally, Google reserves the right to take legal action, as it did against Texas-based Auction Experts International in a lawsuit it filed in November.

"Any advertiser or publisher participating in invalid click activity or other related offense is subject to being banned from our system and subject to prosecution," Kamangar warns.
Most of the balance of the article is about Overture. But here is the link to the entire article http://www.clickz.com/news/article.php/3453201

Last edited by Larwee; 01-09-2005 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 01-10-2005, 03:31 AM   #2
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Personally, I doubt that Google or any other ad networks can precisely detect any click fraud. I'm sure if someone does any click fraud from the same IP, it can be detected, but how to check if someone asks his friends to click from their computers? surely it can't be detected, unless they click quite often from the same computer, if one or two clicks, I believe it will be counted as normal clicks.
But personally, I also *won't try* to do any click fraud on adsense account, I think adsense is really potential source of revenue, so rather than trying to get some bucks by doing any useless click fraud, it's better not doing that so you keep your adsense account safely.

Anyway, if it's happened a website has so targetted contents and get very high rate of click thru, and the click thru are from returning visitors, I'm afraid it is considered as click fraud by Google.... how if this happens? Does Google in a sudden close the adsense account for this site?
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Old 01-11-2005, 12:55 AM   #3

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Location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
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aditan, that's where people come into the equation. The best technology in the world is not going to make this issue 'go away' altogether. Whereas AdSense's systems may be able to detect deliberate click fraud with superb accuracy, for example, determining whether the source of that fraudulent activity was the account owner or a third party utilising tools in bad faith in an attempt to have a particular user's account terminated.

Additionally, varying the core algorithm to account for unusual activity that may occur on certain niche sites, such as in your description, is close to impossible using technology alone. As such, old fashioned people systems will always serve a useful purpose in determining whether activity seems uncharacteristic or suspicious for a given account.

Incidentally, the point of larwee's post was certainly not to encourage click fraud. As I'm sure you're aware, Geek/Talk has always been - and remains - vehemently opposed to any practices that may adversely affect a network or advertiser's experience in the interactive space (and, by extension, that of indie web publishers). I would expect that no Geek/Talk member would consider using this information to carry out click fraud against AdSense or any other player in the field.

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Old 01-11-2005, 03:04 AM   #4
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Incidentally, the point of larwee's post was certainly not to encourage click fraud.
Yeah, I'm sure Larwee certainly didn't mean to encourage click fraud.
Did my previous post sound like that? I'm sorry then.

I agree for not doing any action that against Google AdSense's Terms or any ad network's terms.
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