[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.