Body Slams Over Click Fraud at SES

Bodyslam.jpgAh, there’s nothing like fraud and wrestling to pack the house for the Issues track sessions at SES today.

It also seemed that splitting up what had been, in previous SES events, a combined session of speakers into two separate groups didn’t keep them from debating the importance of just how much click fraud occurs with search engines, and how to report it.
Several of the speakers on the “Search Marketers On Click Fraud” issues track, including Tom Cuthbert, president and CEO of ClickForensics, and Jessie Stricchiola, founder of Alchemist Media, stuck around for the next event called “Search Engines On Click Fraud.”

The execs all four of the search engines on the panel all said their companies, including Ask, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, routinely don’t charge for approximately 10 percent of clicks found to be fraudulent. Still, Shuman Ghosemajumder business product manager, Trust & Safety, for Google, couldn’t resist making a dig at Cuthbert, saying that he’d shown the numbers “10 times” at various events, but that for some reason the ClickForensic’s numbers on fraud didn’t match up with Google’s aggregate data.

The comment prompted Stricchiola to half mockingly threaten Ghosemajumder with some old school wrestling moves. “You know Shuman, once in awhile I want to go up there and slam you to the ground,” she said half jokingly. “I don’t think it helps anyone that the contentiousness comes from search engine. It should probably come from us.”

Auditing how click fraud works is a long running debate for a lot of these folks, and Ghosemajumder and Stricchiola were all smiles afterwards, but Cuthbert did yearn for the previously combined sessions.

“I enjoy debating with Shuman,” Cuthbert told me. “I just completely disagree with him.”

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