Sunday, May 21, 2006

Click Fraud - Virally Distributed ClickBot Zombie Network - Clickbot.a

Having been working for the past 6 months as a the search marketing executive for a travel company. I've spent the majority of my time managing the PPC adwords campaign, I've constantly noticed some rather unusual click activitiy especially for such competitive phrases as "hotels in manchester" similar derivities for prime destinations. In some instances I saw click though rates as high as 60% on certain days and for certain terms..

While my ad copy writing and testing skills are pretty hot (thanks to the time I spent learning the art from my mentors and old friends Mark Joyner and Dr Joe Vitale) I was unable to explain such freek anomalies on an increasingly day by day basis.

That inability to explain the unusual click behaviour all changed when I stumbled across the podcast show "SEO Rockstars". Having being out of the SEO game for a number of years, in favour of email and viral marketing (.... yes I was short sighted enough to believe that SEO was dead as far back as when paid inclusion and PPC came along) I learned about just how prolific click fraud had become thanks the the insight of Mr Greg Boser (aka WebGuerrilla)

Long story short, last week I recieved an email from my Adwords Rep regarded potential click fraud rebate....

Today I learned that....
PandaLabs has detected a network of computers infected with the bot Clickbot.A, which is being used to defraud ‘pay per click’ systems, registering clicks automatically and providing lucrative returns for the creators. According to the data collected so far, the scam is exploiting a global network comprising more than 34,000 zombie computers (those infected by the bot).
See the full article on what they have uncovered go to Help Net Security.

If you are concerned about Click Fraud, I'd strongly advise you listen to Greg and Darren discussing the click fraud on That's a Wrap following his participation on the click fraud panel at Search Engine Strategies (New York)

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