Click Fraud

Form of fraud where Internet users are recruited to deliberately click on links on a Web site, causing the site to be directed to an online merchant Web site that pays a commission for such clicks under an affiliate program. This may be done by the Web site owner itself, or by a competitor with a view to undermining the merchant’s affiliate program. Some major search engines use “pay-per-click” arrangements, where the merchant must pay the search engine, whether the directed person buys or not; click fraud can be a particularly acute problem in such an arrangement. Rumors suggests that automated software engines have also been used for click fraud purposes.

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