CNET has details of a new alliance by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Ask.com, LookSmart and others to form the Click Measurement Working Group.
They’ll be partnering with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the nonprofit Media Rating Council and look to establish guidelines on what makes a click “invalid”.
The IAB said the guidelines will outline an industry-driven auditing and certification recommendation for search engines, online ad networks, third-party ad servers and other companies that make money from clicks.
It’s a smart move by the search engines. By joining together, they’re obviously convinced that the levels of click-fraud are not so high, that they don’t want anyone to pull-back the curtain. At the same time, they’re acknowledging that the issue could hurt their business model – due to perception – if they don’t appear to be acting on it.