There is a new form of click fraud that has been discovered my Microsoft. This week Microsoft has filed two lawsuits against online advertising companies that have partaken in click laundering. Microsoft discovered the fraud do to unusual high volume of clicks coming from two different websites. If the fraud companies hadn’t been so obvious and greedy, Microsoft stated that they could have defrauded online merchants for hundreds of thousands of dollars over time.
click fraud is one of the biggest reasons why search engine optimization (SEO) typically returns a higher return on investment (ROI) then pay per click (PPC) advertising. With PPC a websites pays for every clicks it receives meaning if clicks are coming fraudulently the websites pays for those too. with organic SERP rankings the cost is in achieving top 10 or front page of Google rankings for the keywords and then the traffic is free so there is no cost to many how many times a person may visit your site.
click laundering discovered my Microsoft gets its name from the illegal action of laundering money. As with money laundering, click laundering makes fraud clicks look legitimate as to by pass fraud protection systems. Click laundering uses various means to make people click ads without even knowing they clicked an add to create revenue, plus they can alter the information that is sent to ad platforms so it looks like legitimate people clicked the ad though in reality they did not.
The lawsuits filed my Microsoft are a continuing efforts to protect online advertising by their Digital Crimes Unit. Microsoft was successful in earlier lawsuits that brought down click fraud using the game Warcraft.