Does Yahoo Have An Adware Clickfraud Problem?
from the something-of-a-mess dept
Just as Google's CEO is somehow magically claiming that the company can prevent clickfraud (which, of course, is being received skeptically), Ben Edelman has taken a look at Yahoo's relationship to the spyware/adware world -- and how clickfraud associated with those relationships may be scamming advertisers out of plenty of money. Yahoo's close relationship with adware vendors is no secret. There's even been talk about investigating Yahoo for its relationship with adware, including the fact that so much of Claria's old adware business was closely linked to Yahoo -- so much so that Yahoo's anti-spyware toolbar for a time ignored Claria (noting all of this, by the way, it should be no surprise that with Claria's sudden change of heart, the first big partner they signed up was -- you guessed it -- Yahoo). However, the problem seems to be getting worse in some ways. Edelman has discovered that a number of newer adware products that use ads from Yahoo are also building their software to pretend that the ad is clicked when it pops up. The details are a bit complex, but basically, plenty of advertisers may be getting charged for clicks that never occurred on un-targeted ads from software they didn't realize they were advertising on -- all because they thought they bought some targeted search advertising. Edelman notes that this is going to continue to be a problem for Yahoo, unless they are much more active in monitoring who is using their ads while at the same time beefing up their own systems for catching clickfraud early and often.