Dmitri Eroshenko is warning the Internet advertising space that the sky is falling due to click fraud. (Illustration from Coolstuff4writers.)
There is click fraud, and the higher the value attached to a click the more likely it is. There are both human and automated click fraud programs out there.
But the sky is not falling. Click fraud is not destroying Internet advertising. In fact, business is booming. CP/M (as in cost-per-thousand) programs are making a comeback. Sponsorships are on the rise.
Besides, Eroshenko's hands aren't clean. He writes as an executive with ClickLab, a company in the business of solutions for click fraud. In other words, he's selling something.
This sort of thing happens all the time. The mobile phone virus scare is driven, in part, by people who want to sell you mobile phone anti-virus software.
What has changed?
What's different now is that the computer press lacks both the will and the resources to properly investigate the charges, find out just how real the problem is, and give those in the market honest, unbiased advice on it.
As the computer press has atomized into the blogosphere we've lost something important, scaled credibility. No one has the budget to put several people onto a story, over several weeks, and let them conduct both real-world tests and interviews which will go out to millions of readers.
Market research firms lack the credibility to do the job, and even if they didn't, their business models would force them to charge so much that most people in the market would never get more than a hint of the answer, let alone a taste of the solution.
I smell an opportunity.