Earlier this week, E-Commerce Law informed readers of Google’s decision to disclose the number of clicks on each customer’s bill which are deemed to be invalid. At the end of that short post, we predicted that "[t]o remain competitive, Yahoo and MSN will have to follow suit."
"The Internet's leading search engines [Google, Yahoo, and MSN] are teaming up with an advertising trade group to find a better way to identify and measure ‘click fraud,’ a scam that has raised doubts about the Web's trustworthiness as a marketing vehicle.
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It may take more than a year before the guidelines are finalized, said Greg Stuart, chief executive of the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
The decision to develop the guidelines reflects the Internet industry's ‘commitment to being the most accountable advertising medium and providing marketers with the highest level of transparency,’ Stuart said."
Search giants Google, Yahoo, and MSN really had no choice but to join forces to address the issue of click fraud, as consumer confidence in the accuracy of Internet advertising charges plummets as a result of publicized court cases and industry reports quantifying the problem. Though the teaming of these search engines to address the click fraud problem may result in systematic improvements, it’s impossible to eliminate the problem altogether.