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Question: What can I do from a legal standpoint about click fraud?

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Answer:  Click fraud remains a hot topic within the online marketing community. We are all talking about the nuisance and waste it is causing, but no one is talking about solutions. As marketers, we feel helpless to stop this practice, which is tarnishing the image of our young industry.

The people who commit click fraud are stealing advertisers’ money. The motives vary, but the consequences are the same: defrauding advertisers of funds and their ability to remain visible within the search engines. While lawsuits have come up from the engines against advertisers, there has been no definitive legal action to date in which an advertiser has tried to recoup losses from click fraud.

Going after the person perpetrating the click fraud seems like the obvious first step, but often it is quite difficult. This person who is defrauding you of funds that you are paying to the search engine often knows you will be looking for him or her. Traditional tracking strategies such as IP addresses and cookies are the easiest and most apparent means to find the fraudulent clicker, but sometimes they are not enough.

Where the perpetrator has covered his/her tracks, it is possible to obtain additional tracking information from the search engine.

Next time: How do I take action to protect my rights against click fraud?

Matt Naeger is VP-general counsel at Impaqt; he can be reached at  matt.naeger@IMPAQT.com.

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