Microsoft is taking Online ad clicks problem very seriously, which's the company is partnering with the U.S. Secret Service to host the Online Advertising Fraud Symposium today in New York.
'The symposium is an opportunity for online advertisers, content providers, ad exchange platforms and law enforcement to join in a thoughtful discussion about the online ad fraud issue and how to re-vamp the current ad model. Without a substantive shift to inject greater integrity into the online advertising ecosystem, the entire business model by which a substantial portion of the Internet is funded may be at risk," Richard Boscovich stated.
"Malvertising (in which malicious computer code embedded in online ads can infect computers), click fraud (in which advertisers pay for clicks that're not the result of legitimate, interested human users) and domain squatting (in which cyber pirates profit off of URLs with slight variations on well-known legitimate brands) are all forms of abuse in which the ad exchange stands to receive illegitimate revenue at the expense of the advertiser and the consumer, creating an inherent conflict of interest in the business model."
"Ad fraud is so common that some have come to accept it as a cost of doing business -- at Microsoft, we disagree. [...]The truth is that as long as advertisers don't demand more than the status quo from the ad exchanges that place their ads, those ad exchanges have little incentive to do so on their own."
"Advertisers can and should demand more from their ad exchanges. They've the power, but they need to be better informed about the vulnerabilities in the current business model and what they can do to ensure that their interests are protected. Advertisers should start by asking their ad exchange providers some basic questions about how their ads and ad dollars are being used, including:
- What mechanisms do you've in place to ensure that my ads are viewed by actual consumers?
- What's your definition of a valid click, and do you differentiate between invalid and low quality clicks?
- Do you discount for low quality ad traffic?
- Can I know and control where my ads appear to most effectively promote and protect my brand?
- What action do you take against publishers or individuals who're found to be generating invalid/fraudulent traffic? Can I expect repeat behavior?," Boscovich advised.
[Source: Microsoft on the Issues]