The article tells of a lady in Iowa getting addicted to earning a half-cent for every ad she clicks, reporting that she makes $300 a year.  By my math, that's 60,000 clicks a year -- or 164 clicks per day.  In America, you can make more than that flipping burgers.  But in India, where much of the click fraud is originating, $300/year might be good money.  Whatever.  Fraud is fraud.

Two things for marketers ...

Thing 1:  Until this mess gets straightened out, you marketers RELAX.  It's not like most of you know what you are doing in the area of paid search, so is click fraud really the source of your problems?  No.  Remember, this problem effects everyone, and marketing effectiveness is relative.  Your job is to outrun your competitors, and the PPC track is slick for everyone.  So shaddap.

Thing 2:  Regarding his company's advertising nearly a century ago, John Wanamaker commented "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half."  At least with paid search, even the most dire prediction is that 70% of of your advertising is working.

Try that with a space ad, a TV spot, or a blimp.

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Harry Joiner is an executive recruiter specializing in integrated marketing and "new media." He has been featured in MarketingSherpa's Great Minds in Marketing series and received coverage in the Wall Street Journal's Career Journal Online. According to Viral Garden's weekly rankings, Harry's weblog is one of the top 25 marketing weblogs in the world.