Click Fraud Zombies

Did you happen to read the guest post we had on click fraud and how easy it could be for unscrupulous companies to create fraudulent clicks?

According to Business Week, Mike was on the money!

With enough Web pages and enough “zombie” computers, each clicking and receiving clicks just a few times a day, a hacker could create a tidy business that’s nearly impossible to detect, says Ken Dunham, a Web-security expert with Verisign-owned iDefense. “They’re bloodsucking mosquitoes, and you just can’t get them all,” says Dunham, who works with law enforcement officials to track down hackers and online con artists.

A New Billing Model for Pay-Per-Call

Jambo just announced a new billing model for businesses too lazy to set up a pay-per-call account – they’ll add the fee to your phone bill.

Google Still Enjoying a Free Lunch?

Can someone please tell the telecom companies to stop moaning that Google is enjoying a “free lunch”. Just because a more talented kid joined the game, you can’t take your football and go home.

Search Landscape Statistics

Here’s the most interesting stats pulled from SER’s coverage of “The Search Landscape” session at SES.

* 24% of clicks on Google go to AdWords.
* 20% of search conversions happen during first session, 33% occured 5-8 weeks later.
* Google driving 11.1% of shopping/classified traffic, Yahoo ~5%, MSNsesny2006

The Real Future of Blogging

I don’t recall the last WSJ article I read where I pretty much nodded my head in agreement to every word, but you MUST read Jason Fry’s take on the current status of blogging and the future of the medium.

Blogs will be everywhere in the near-future, but singling them out amid the Internet tumult will seem odd, like talking about one’s favorite commerce or community sites as a group. Media companies will use blogs to track fast-moving stories and bring some much-needed attitude and voice to their brands. Corporations will use them for updates and conversations with their own employees or customers.

If I ever I bump in to Jason, I’m buying. ;-)

Google Attacked By Zombies

[While we’re on the subject of click fraud, regular reader (and now, occasional contributor) Mike O’Krongli offers his thoughts on how click fraud could cause Google a lot of headaches. Anyone at Google care to drop us their thoughts on Mike’s scary prediction?]

Affiliate programs were very popular and profitable for a short period of time in the late 1990’s but automated bots brought an end to that product. While Google has learned many lessons from that time, the sheer size and scale of the internet makes it more difficult to detect fraud. The internet criminal has also evolved and has many more tools in his box. I predict PPC will meet with the same fate as the early affiliate programs, only with larger monetary losses to more businesses.

GBuy or Google Wallet? It’s Coming!

Call it what you want, Google appears to be testing a secure payment system at Google Base.

For buyers, this feature will provide a convenient and secure way to purchase Google Base items by credit card. For sellers, this feature integrates transaction processing with Google Base item management…we’re starting with a very small number of sellers and we expect to include more over the next several months.

That trembling you feel – no, a T-rex is not about to swallow you up – it’s the sound of eBay and PayPal quaking in their boots.

Hey, if nothing else, it gives email phishers another opportunity to let us know we need to “confirm our username and passwords”. ;-)