Internet Advertising

Googles Interest Based Advertising

Google has launched “interest-based advertising,” which will display ads based on the user’s previous searches and page views. Google’s experiment with behavioral targeting has also been done by Yahoo and others as a way of increasing ad revenue through a more granular focus on viewers, but has led to privacy concerns.

Google announced on March 11 that it was launching a beta version of what it terms “interest-based advertising,” a type of behavioral targeting that delivers ads to users based on their previous searches and page views.

PPC Terrorist Attack Bots: Is the internet advertising system vulnerable to terrorist attack?

Is it possible that Google & Yahoo's PPC programs are susceptible to terrorist attack?

Here's a question for those more in the know than I; Is it possible to create a untracable bot network to attack the PPC market as a whole?

In reading about how Evil Bot Networks can be configured to any end, I've had a nagging thought that it might be possible for a motivated entity to decide to attack the entire internet advertising market.

From Wired: Attack of the Bots
PC owners have installed tens of millions of personal firewalls and antivirus programs. But bots are infiltrating even protected computers, and they have quickly become a bigger threat than virulent malware like the famously destructive Melissa, I Love You, and Slammer.

PPC fraud is usually perpetrated in one of two ways. False sites running PPC ads with illegal clicks designed to generate revenue, & and competition clicks designed to waste a competitors advertising budget.

Here's a different scenario: 

An network (terrorist of otherwise) decides that they could damage the internet economy by attacking the PPC models inherent vulnerabilites. The idea is not to gain monitarily or drain a competitors funds, it's to create such a glut of ad clicks that the entire model becomes suspect. Advertisers would no longer trust the system since Google and Yahoo would not be able to discern which clicks were valid and which were not. The underlying motivators (monitary or competitive) would not be there and Google / Yahoo would have no 'motive' by which to measure clicks.

A Bot Network Attack:

  • Randomly travels the net in ways that mimic consumer usage patterns.
  • 'Clicks' on PPC ads in ways that mimic consumers.
  • Does it on an incresingly massive scale.

As far as I'm aware, this is entirely possible.

Google / Yahoo have active programs to determine which clicks may be fraudulent, but those systems are predicated on being able to search by motive or other discernable factors. Bot networks use unsuspecting computers that are infected by viruses, screening them from most search methodologies.

Microsoft patents your RSS feed.


Since Microsoft is hated four times as much as Google, perhaps they drew the short straw.

... two recently published patent applications reveal, Microsoft (MSFT) is claiming it invented RSS.

That's a long shot, however: "Prior art," the patent-law term for earlier examples of the technology in use, should be easy to show, since RSS has been around for years. The most likely outcome will be that Microsoft's patent is rejected - and no one else will be able to patent RSS, either, keeping the technology free for everyone to use.

Lawyers and the 'sue to protect' theory. 

Scheduling PPC ads to run by time.

img-pay-per-click.jpgSavvy Internet retailer could make sure its ad runs in the late afternoon, when online shopping spikes but ad competition falls

From WSJ: Most online shopping happens on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. and then in the late afternoon between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., largely at work, according to comScore Networks, a Chicago Internet market-research firm.

The highest percentage of dollars spent online during a typical weekday occurs between 11 a.m. and noon, followed by 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and then 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., comScore says. By far, consumers spend the fewest dollars online in the hours between midnight and 8 a.m.

Peter Fader, a marketing professor at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, says some advertisers start running ads at midnight and exhaust their daily preset ad budgets by midday. So a savvy Internet retailer could make sure its ad runs in the late afternoon, when online shopping spikes but ad competition falls