ClickDetective Markets Anti-Click Fraud Software

Jeff Berg
CYBERSPACE — United Kingdom-based firm ClickDetective has launched a new service targeted at stopping “click fraud,” the company said.

According to ClickDetective, the new service is aimed at firms that use pay-per-click advertising like Overture, Google and Espotting.

ClickDetective founder Alan West said that roughly 5 to 10 percent of clicks that the company has analyzed register as “irregular,” which may mean that Internet surfers are using the advertisements as links to the website or fraudulently clicking on them.

Once analyzed, the ClickDetective software provides a set of tabular reports that show visitor metrics.

Click fraud has been touted as one of the most harmful problems encountered by Internet search engines like Google, according to Google’s Chief Financial Officer George Reyes.

“I think something has to be done about this really, really quickly, because I think, potentially, it threatens our business model,” Reyes said in December.

“There’s a lot of bad guys out there that are trying to take advantage of this and it costs, I’m sure not just us, but eBay and Yahoo! and Amazon and the whole crowd, tons of money.”

In November, Google filed its first civil click fraud lawsuit against Texas-based Auctions Expert Internal, claiming that the company had defrauded Google and its advertisers by repeatedly clicking on advertisements.

The search engine giant also participated in the arrests of 32-year-old Michael Bradley in March, who had developed a piece of software called “Google Clique,” that roamed the Internet, clicking on Google AdSense advertisements.

Bradley had first tried to sell his software to the search company for $100,000 and then, when Google failed to respond, threatened to release the program to the “top 100 spammers.”

ClickDetective’s service costs begin at $39 per month for 2,000 monitored click-throughs.