Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Click Forensics

Click Forensics, of San Antionio, TX, has released their Click Fraud Network this week. Of course, as a senior engineer at Litmus Media, I am biased. But I don't understand the value of this offering.

Taken from clickfraudnetwork.com:
"Network members receive free access to CF Analytics?, a page tag based click fraud reporting system."
Ok, so what is CF Analytics?
"CF Analytics provides campaign reports detailing click fraud threat level by term and search provider. Additionally CFN will publish aggregate data to the Click Fraud Index site. This information will help members identify trends and communicate with each other about this growing issue."
Right. So CF Analytics "provides campaign reports". I guess this means that, if I am a PPC advertiser, I get a report emailed to me after-the-fact telling me how much money I have wasted using a PPC network full of click fraud.

Wait, that is not all! I get to spend some of my valuable time looking at trends on the Click Fraud Index site, and opine about how I think it stinks that the PPC networks cannot push clean traffic to my site.

I don't get it. We already know click fraud is a problem. How does guessing about which clicks are not valid and posting a report to that effect help anything?

If you can tell, or hypothosize about which clicks are valid and which are fraudulent, why not just send bogus clicks to yahoo.com or some other indifferent page? In other words, why not use ValidClick? It is like I am spending money for advertising on television to reach 1,000,000 people with my message, but I find out the TV network lied to me, because my spot reached half of the viewers. Why do I want a report telling me that the actual number that I reached was 520,242? My money is still wasted.

With ValidClick, the bogus traffic simply doesn't get through. Ergo, I don't pay for bogus clicks. Even if the cost was 10% higher, which it likely is not, wouldn't you want to use a network like that? And if it costs the same amount to advertise on the ValidClick network, which it likely does, it would just be a bad mistake to do otherwise.

Disclaimer: I am not an official spokesperson for Litmus Media Inc, ValidClick Inc., Think Partnership Inc. , Second Bite Inc, or any other related organization.


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