Search Engine Develops Click-Fraud Tool

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Executives at a Canadian search engine are so intent on preventing click fraud that they developed their own fraud-prevention technology for their advertisers.


Click fraud is an elusive problem for advertisers, and even industry experts disagree on the extent of the problem. Studies estimate that click fraud accounts for anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent of all clicks.


Search for It, Toronto, developed a proprietary technology, Fraud Print, that tracks the "fingerprint" of a user's computer when the user clicks on its advertisers' links and conducts a series of tests to determine the probability that the click is legitimate.


"The primary reason [it was developed] was to address the issue of increasing our traffic levels via external distribution channels while maintaining qualified clicks for our advertisers," said Eric Thaler, business development manager at Search for It.


Some advertisers have noticed a greater return on investment than before Fraud Print was implemented, Thaler said. The technology also benefits Search for It, he said, by "creating a situation in which our advertisers look to continue to replenish their account balance."


Though Fraud Print is used only within Search for It, executives are considering marketing it as a standalone product that advertisers could buy for all of their pay-per-click campaigns in the near future.


Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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