CNet recently ran an article on a lawsuit filed by Google against a suspected perpetrator of click fraud.
Click fraud is a very real issue for pay-per-click advertisers. Too often, fraudulent clicks can destroy an online PPC campaign.
It is however detectable, and while not necessarily preventable, it can be remedied. A combination of excellent tracking tools, vigilance and experience can at least lead to detection and reporting of invalid clicks.
Herein lie just some of the advantages of outsourcing PPC management tasks. Detecting fraud is a skill that many businesses could learn, but more important than knowing how to spot it is having the time to watch for it. Search marketing companies that provide PPC management should have dedicated account executives working on accounts steadily, able to quick spot suspect trends and activity.
A good SEO/SEM agency can get accounts stopped, gather appropriate data and submit evidence for a fraud investigation, often long before a client realizes there has been a spike in traffic.
Finding click fraud in a timely manner and dealing with it appropriately is crucial. Dedicated account managers have experience with accounts and are able to quickly spot questionable traffic trends. They are also better equipped to quickly see the difference between legitimate traffic spikes and fraudulent traffic.