Joel Spolsky is a well known software guru, and the man can write, making him something of a hero for folks like me. But he rarely opines on Google. Today he takes on click fraud and spam blogs. Worth a read.
There might be a technical solution to this, although I can’t think of one offhand. The minute companies start cutting checks to “affiliates” at the end of the month that are based on nothing more than clicks, you’re bound to get the AllAdvantage phenomenon. AllAdvantage was probably one of the most spectacularly stupid business ideas to come out of the first Dot Com bubble: a company that paid you to look at ads. That’s because they fell victim to one of the better business ideas from the first Dot Com bubble: hiring armies of low-paid workers to look at AllAdvantage ads.
Eventually, it stops benefiting the advertiser, and the advertiser figures it out, and stops paying for the whole charade.
Google repeatedly says that clickfraud is not an issue, and we keep hearing from folks – advertisers, publishers, etc. – that it is. I wonder if this will ever go away?