Posted May 18, 2007 11:00 am by with 1 comment

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Fair Isaac is dipping its toe in the click fraud tracking waters, with the release of its own study into fraudulent search engine clicks.

The company, best known for helping evaluate consumer credit-worthiness and reducing credit card fraud, is contemplating the development of a new solution for click fraud. Ahead of any decision, Fair Isaac will present the preliminary findings of its own investigation at a conference today.

After reviewing a handful of Web sites since last August, Fair Isaac believes 10 to 15 percent of the advertising traffic is “pathological,” indicating a likelihood of click fraud, said Joseph Milana, the company’s chief scientist of research and development. “It’s still an early result,” Milana said. “The question remains about how broad the problem is in the entire marketplace.”

Here are some things to get you thinking…

  1. What does Fair Isaac know about click fraud monitoring? Do they know what they’re looking at?
  2. Are they building up hype, in advance of the launch of their new click fraud monitoring solution?
  3. On the flip-side, why would they want to inflate their own numbers? Launching the new service would be dependent on there being enough click fraud to justify the service. You have no incentive to inflate the numbers – you’d just be kidding yourself.
  4. Also, while Fair Isaac may not know click fraud, they do know “fraud”, so their data is probably about as trust-worthy as you can get, without actually being Google or Yahoo.
  • These findings suggest that 10%-15% of advertiser’s search spend end up in the hands of those exploiting their marketing initiatives. Click Fraud is not being resolved rather suppressed with credits and make goods.
    There is no recourse for fraudsters so there is really no reason to scale back on the fraud. If networks were able to identify Click Fraud and shut it down rather than crediting the advertiser, click fraud rates would drop. Click Fraud is out there and it is up to the networks to remove it before it reaches the advertiser.