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Report describes click fraud threat for search engines.

Outsell, Inc. released the first report to quantify the click fraud problem in real dollars. According to Webopedia, "click fraud is an illegal practice that occurs when individuals click on Web site click through advertisements (either banner ads or paid text links) to increase the payable number of click throughs to the advertiser." It estimated click fraud as a $1.3 billion problem that is reducing advertisers' pay-per-click (PPC) spending and threatening the core business model of search engines such as Google. It reported that 27 percent of advertisers have already slowed or stopped their PPC advertising, and another 10 percent plan to cut their PPC spending budgets. On average, advertisers estimate that 14.6 percent of the clicks they're billed for are fraudulent, representing $800 million in spending for fraudulent clicks in 2005. The $800 million combined with the $500 million that will no longer be spent on PPC makes for a total loss of $1.3 billion.

Source: Outsell, Inc. (http://www.out sellinc.com)

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Title Annotation:News Bytes
Publication:Information Today
Date:Sep 1, 2006
Words:167
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